The Effects of Overbuilding a City

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Having been in the real estate business in Southern California for over 25 years I have seen a lot of growth and redevelopment that has shaped our wonderful cities, but I am becoming growingly concerned of all the development that is slated over the next few years. I realize that a lot of the development is replacing our older properties that no longer serve their intended purpose or useful life, but I have to ask, how many more mixed use properties with luxury units on top does this city really need? In the case of Santa Monica, how many more boutique hotels need to be built? I am in the real estate industry so I am all for a great new development that can enhance a community (if needed) and I am all for bringing an old tired property back to life but it seems we have a current mode of build for the sake of building.

Although most new developments require an environmental impact study, including increases in the traffic flow, I still question the long term effects on these cities allowing developments that may not be needed, or the current infrastructure cannot handle. At a minimum this can lead to consequences, including traffic jams all hours of the day, an increase in crime, and pollution increases. This can quickly turn a community from being a place that you want to live in to a place you just have to go and deal with.

The real estate cycle in Southern California is less damaging than other parts of the country so our investments tend to be less volatile. However, when you have built more units than current demand dictates, you will have properties that will go dark and become an attraction for undesirable activities. Therefore, crime will spread to the neighboring properties.

I am an avid scuba diver and I have dived all around Southern California and when you are diving in our area’s beaches, you are amazed at the amount of trash that is already floating in our ocean. The added cars and population will only add to the amount of trash unless we figure out a process that we can help our environment.

I feel like I got on a bit on a soap box here but I am passionate about our cities and what we have created here and I hate to see over development cause damage. I know we have the opportunity to vote on some of these issues next month, so I encourage you to read up, get educated and head out to your voting place no matter your cause or position.

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