Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Broken Spoke NOT Sold

Today's AAS reports that Ardent Residential, a developer, has backed away from plans to build condos and retail around the Broken Spoke. Ardent says it's because they have too much work; the real estate facts (on the literal ground) say something else: there's an oversupply of apartments, which is pushing rents down.

Won't someone write a country song about the demise of the ol' honkytonk, where grandpa met grandma, where pa's roving eye got him in trouble, where little sister learned to fiddle, and where I met you?

But I'm less interested in the fate of the Spoke per se than in signs that the real estate slowdown will affect the Mueller development. I had long predicted that a downturn would leave us with acres of big box parking lot, a few houses, and no local businesses -- far from the inner city developed community Shangri-La that everyone expected, and which depended on an ocean of cheap money. Maybe all the money is already in the pipe for those houses. But it doesn't look good for local places to be able to move in, not in this climate. I could be wrong -- I haven't been back since June -- but it'll be interesting to see. Don't get me wrong: I want Mueller to be cool.

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