In The Stalwart, one of my daily must-reads, the post When Property Development Is Outlawed, Only Outlaws Will Develop Property [The Stalwart], talks future development in the aftermath of the Greenpoint, Brooklyn fire [Curbed] that destroyed a bunch of property but could have actually killed many if the wind was in a different direction.
I remember seeing a similar slogan on a billboard as a teenager, on a bike trip through Wyoming: The west wasn’t won with a registered gun. When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.
These warehouses had been abandoned for some time, and surely the red-tape in getting approval from various board was taking years. Not to mention, there’s a claque of preservationists here who want to keep every abandoned building, truckyard, and empty factory as some sort of memorial to the past.
The trade-off here is that the difficulty in development, provides a large up front risk and cost. What does the difficulty in the development process do to housing costs? It makes them much more expensive. No wonder the only thing that can be built in Manhattan without significant government intervention is luxury housing (although incentives still remain).