A post on Greater Greater Washington laments the lack of options coming online in Washington, D.C.'s housing boom—new housing is only of the most expensive variety.
Payton Chung lays out an argument for a wider variety of housing development in Washington, D.C.: "At first glance, the District's central-city housing boom might seem to be completely benign: as long as new housing is being built, does it matter where it is? But by funneling almost all new residences into central-city high-rises, the District is all but requiring that new housing be built with only the most expensive construction techniques, on the most expensive land."
Here Chung provides a pro forma for rental construction:
"How expensive are central city high-rises? The cost of just materials, labor, design, and appropriately-zoned land for a high-rise building in central DC amounts to over $400 per rentable square foot—and that's before its developer has made a single cent on her investment, much less paid interest to her investors, paid attorneys to get the site zoned correctly, paid for community improvements like transportation or affordable housing, or brought in the gimmicky amenities."
After providing more context for the housing market in Washington, D.C., Chung also makes a few simple recommendations for the District to help deliver more low- and mid-income housing.
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