Developers are Retarded

I speak specifically of developers who continue to build new shopping malls and housing developments.

Am I the only person who’s noticed that the entire real estate market has imploded? What the hell are these idiots doing continuing to build more McMansions and commercial buildings? Are they nuts, or are they just morons?

Within two blocks of my house, there are two new strip malls. Between them, there are about 15 storefronts… and out of those, only 6 are filled. One of these strip malls has been finished and sitting vacant for more than two years, and the other has been sitting there for well over a year.

People are losing their shirts trying to unload houses that are now worth a buck fifty, but these developers are out there, chugging away, building hundreds of huge houses. There’s a new development that’s just been started a few miles from my house. It’s literally going to have 450 homes, each of which will be in the 280-350k range. Who do they think is going to buy these homes?

They are pouring millions of dollars into simply putting utilities and sewers into the area. They haven’t even built the first model home yet. Surely they can look around and see this is a bad plan – right? Cut their losses and find a new career?

Sprint is one of the biggest companies in Kansas City. About 5-10 years ago, they decided to build a billion dollar complex, lovingly known around here as the “Sprint Compound” and “The Barracks”. I won’t even get into how hideous the complex is… that’s not the point. The point is, when Sprint built their billion dollar complex, they vacated about 35 buildings throughout Kansas City and its suburbs.

As a result, commercial real estate collapsed. And this was several years ago. The building where I work is only about 20% occupied. That’s not unusual around here. But there are still idiots out there building NEW fricking buildings!

So, let me recap. There are vacant and semi-vacant commercial buildings and retail storefronts all over the city. People are losing their shirts trying to sell their houses because the economy has gone to crap. People are getting laid off and companies are downsizing, so the number of people who can afford to buy a house is going down. Developers are still building tons of huge houses, office buildings, and retail storefronts.

There’s only one possible explanation. Developers are retarded.

  3 comments for “Developers are Retarded

  1. August 4, 2008 at 10:08 am

    It’s happening here, too. I think that they’re either a) in massive denial, or b) already so in debt with the financing that they have to keep going. I’m hoping it keeps going down, because then even I will be able to afford to buy something in southern California. (Ok, that will never happen, but a girl can dream.)

  2. HRT
    August 4, 2008 at 11:01 am

    Yes, developers are retarded… sort of.
    a) I’m sure at least half of these projects were green-lighted 3-5 years ago, back when the real-estate market was sizzling
    3) They’re dorks.
    b) If they don’t work, they don’t get paid, so if some idiot owner is willing to pay who are they not to work and take the money.
    1) They really believe there’s no place like Kansas
    8) This recession is a figment of your imagination, what people need is new overpriced housing, that’ll fix everything.
    and finally 2) When have you ever known corporate America to be rational?

  3. August 4, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Back in the 90s I was working for the 5th largest law firm in the U.S., based in Austin. My boss came up with this idea called something like “Smart Planning” which basically embraced less urban sprawl and more … well, more building say an apartment over a store. This idea was VERY well received … except for a few overlooked details such as where were all these people who were willing to cram their living quarters into a tiny space going to actually work? My boss’s son was an architect and he also got into the act. Did my boss give up his whopping big house in Austin? Hell no! Furthermore, his son also designed and built himself a whopping new big house. Fucking hypocrites. Oh, and yes, Austin, you can blame my former boss for the unbelieveable mess of rebuilding and restructuring and destruction of historical buildings that has been taking place in downtown Austin for the past decade.

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