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sopas ej Mar 25, 2022 8:45 PM

Big population drops in Los Angeles, San Francisco transforming urban California
 
From the Los Angeles Times:

Big population drops in Los Angeles, San Francisco transforming urban California

BY HAYLEY SMITH, SARAH PARVINI
MARCH 25, 2022 5 AM PT

Los Angeles and San Francisco saw sizable declines in population during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic, new census data show, underscoring how California’s housing crisis and other demographic forces are reshaping two of its largest cities.

In terms of total numbers, Los Angeles County lost about 160,000 residents — more than any other county in the nation, the data show. But L.A. County has about 10 million people, so the per capita loss was slightly more than 1% compared with 6.7% in San Francisco and 6.9% in New York.

“We are in this new demographic era for California of very slow or maybe even negative growth,” said Hans Johnson, a demographer with the Public Policy Institute of California. “And it does have implications for everything in our state — from how we live our lives to which schools are getting closed down to how much capacity we might need for transportation networks, and eventually to housing.”

The data, published Thursday by the U.S. Census Bureau, show California as a whole saw a net loss of nearly 262,000 residents between July 1, 2020, and July 1, 2021, with the lion’s share of the losses coming from Los Angeles County: 159,621 people. The second-largest countywide loss in the nation was New York, which declined by about 111,000 residents.

The findings paint a picture of a state in flux, with factors such as soaring home prices, dwindling birth rates and more work-from-home options contributing to a population on the move.

“This loss that both California is experiencing and Los Angeles County is experiencing are kind of the perfect storm from a demographic perspective, and all the components that lead to population change are all trending in a downward direction for both the state and Los Angeles,” Johnson said.

Nearly all of the state’s population loss was driven by domestic migration, data show, meaning most people who are leaving are choosing to go — often seeking more affordable housing and job opportunities, or moving with family.

Jena Lords said she and her husband discussed leaving Bakersfield for several years because they were unhappy with the direction the state was going. They decamped to Idaho last year.

“The top reason was 2nd Amendment rights,” said Lords, 39. “There’s also the high cost of living, tax fees, regulations.”

Lords and her husband both had stints in the firearms industry, she said. To them, it felt as though “the governor didn’t want us to be able to defend ourselves.”

The pandemic provided a rare opportunity for the pair to move — Lords had been working remotely as a department coordinator at Cal State Bakersfield and her husband quit his job in November 2020. Last spring, she accepted a position as an administrative assistant at Idaho State University.

She and her husband lived in their recreational vehicle for 10 months before closing escrow on a $140,000 home sitting on half an acre of land in Pocatello, about an hour south of Idaho Falls, two months ago.

“The hardest thing was leaving our friends and family — and the beach, of course,” Lords said. “It’s amazing, the difference in culture. It’s a real small-town feel.”

California overall lost about 367,000 people like the Lords to domestic migration — a number higher than the net loss, which includes gains from births and other sources. Los Angeles lost about 180,000 to domestic migration

The census numbers underscore population losses the state has faced in recent years. The state lost a seat in Congress for the first time in history due to sluggish population growth.

The Bay Area, where skyrocketing housing costs have long been a major problem, was hit particularly hard. San Francisco lost about 54,000 residents and Santa Clara County — home to Silicon Valley — 45,000 people.

But more affordable parts of Southern California, such as Riverside and San Bernardino counties, saw growth during this period, including people coming from other areas. Riverside saw the third-highest population gain in the nation with about 36,000 new residents, following only Maricopa County, Ariz., and Collin County, Texas, according to the data.

California was also among the minority to see a “natural increase” in the population, or more births than deaths during that one-year period, the data show. More than 73% of U.S. counties experienced natural decrease in 2021.

Yet natural increase is also slowing both nationally and within California. The state reported 91,996 more births than deaths from July 2020 to 2021, according to the census data, but that number was about 262,000 in 2015.

And while the state saw a net gain in international migration — about 14,300 people moved to California from abroad — the number is also significantly lower than what it was in recent years. About ten years ago, Los Angeles County received close to 50,000 people through international immigration. This year, the county reported only about 4,000.

“All those factors are operating together now in ways that we’ve never seen before,” said Johnson, the demographer. “We’ve had periods with large domestic out-migration, but not at the same time that we saw this big decline in foreign immigration and a slowdown in natural increase. So when you add all those things together, that adds up to population losses both for the state and for Los Angeles that are very, very unusual demographically.”

Although the COVID-19 pandemic probably played a role in less immigration, the number of international migrants has been steadily declining for several years, said Paul Ong, director of the Center for Neighborhood Knowledge at UCLA.

“It’s a combination of those things, but certainly it was happening before the pandemic,” Ong said. “In some ways, it’s part of what we see historically in terms of immigrants — that they do settle and cluster in a few areas and cities, but over time they move away. And when they move away, they sponsor new relatives coming in further away from the original core.”

A shrinking population can have a negative effect on the local economy and can mean fewer skilled workers, Ong said.

For some, the decision to leave California grew out of mounting frustration and a desire for change.

“I started seeing the homeless population increasing and nothing being done about it,” said former Southern California resident Alfredo Malatesta, who immigrated to L.A. from Peru as a child. “It was starting to remind me of where I left many years before.”

He and his wife, Erin, moved from Santa Clarita to Tennessee in 2017, and have taken a shine to rural life outside Nashville.

“You feel like everyone is out to screw you in a way in a city like Los Angeles. And for the amount I pay to live here, the taxes, the infrastructure falling apart... everything is just like constantly like you’re getting screwed,” Malatesta, 43, said.

After sitting down and mapping out the future, the couple decided they wanted some distance from the “fatigue” they felt in L.A. — and a new adventure with a simpler life.

“I kept telling myself that my wife and I can’t live here happily, and the system is counterproductive and not efficient. It’s harder and harder to run a business when these stresses are pressing down on you,” he said. “It doesn’t seem like Los Angeles has an identity anymore.”

Link: https://www.latimes.com/california/s...ia-census-data

LosAngelesSportsFan Mar 25, 2022 9:32 PM

I hate these articles.. That was a one year blip due to zero immigration. Im sure LA, NY and SF are back to normal numbers wise right now

craigs Mar 25, 2022 9:39 PM

I don't doubt that people left New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco between July 2020 and July 2021. That was peak pandemic, and a lot of people were on the move. All three cities were shut down, and lots of people who could not work remotely--people working in entire economic sectors, such as hospitality--couldn't pay the rent. And New York at that time was especially hard hit in terms of overwhelmed hospitals and morgues.

I myself left San Francisco with my husband just four months prior to the beginning of the period in question. These numbers don't surprise me.

LA21st Mar 26, 2022 9:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by craigs (Post 9579464)
I don't doubt that people left New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco between July 2020 and July 2021. That was peak pandemic, and a lot of people were on the move. All three cities were shut down, and lots of people who could not work remotely--people working in entire economic sectors, such as hospitality--couldn't pay the rent. And New York at that time was especially hard hit in terms of overwhelmed hospitals and morgues.

I myself left San Francisco with my husband just four months prior to the beginning of the period in question. These numbers don't surprise me.

Miami area lost the most, per capita. 140k. And that was a place that was supposed to be doing well with the pandemic. It's def a immigration thing.

Reverberation Mar 28, 2022 2:11 AM

Two reasons I see for this:
1) Quality of life. Strung out fentanyl addicts forming tent encampments in playgrounds don’t make for approachable and livable cities.
2) cost of living. On the west coast, it’s become too expensive too fast. Additionally, land entitlement is too costly and takes too long for meaningful increases in housing supply. More is made in entitlements, arbitrage, and impact fees than in actually building affordable market rate housing.

llamaorama Mar 28, 2022 3:28 AM

I can only imagine that for high cost cities, the answer would have to be reduced household sizes and fewer children and roommates, right? It wouldn't make any sense for home prices and rent to be sky high if there was no demand, right? And there would no across-the-board housing shortage if cities were getting less dense in terms of households.

There's probably a point where these types of declines in otherwise healthy cities will slow or stop. Once most of the old building stock turns over.

Innsertnamehere Mar 28, 2022 12:50 PM

immigration and increased deaths for the year with COVID. 2022 data will be key to see if the trend holds or not, I suspect it will not at all.

Innsertnamehere Mar 28, 2022 12:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by llamaorama (Post 9580867)
I can only imagine that for high cost cities, the answer would have to be reduced household sizes and fewer children and roommates, right? It wouldn't make any sense for home prices and rent to be sky high if there was no demand, right? And there would no across-the-board housing shortage if cities were getting less dense in terms of households.

There's probably a point where these types of declines in otherwise healthy cities will slow or stop. Once most of the old building stock turns over.

A lot of the increase in housing prices and increased housing demand is from increased monetary supply, and increased forced savings from not commuting and staying home. Savings rates skyrocketed during the pandemic which caused people to suddenly all at once have downpayments for their first house. And predictably, when 4-5 times as many people than normal all go out to buy their first home at the same time.. well..

Same thing with household creation - households suddenly had a lot more money from saving and government programs.. many probably decided that they could afford to live on their own and just like that, many new households were formed, needing more housing units.

COVID is a massive shock to the entire economic system, and we can see ripples of this through almost everything from car shortages, inflation, housing shortages, etc. Consumer demand and spending patterns shifted massively, essentially overnight. The market has to play catchup.

llamaorama Mar 28, 2022 1:38 PM

But cities have been getting expensive for the last 15 years.

Pedestrian Mar 29, 2022 7:51 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LosAngelesSportsFan (Post 9579452)
I hate these articles.. That was a one year blip due to zero immigration. Im sure LA, NY and SF are back to normal numbers wise right now

Not yet but the situation is probably turning around. People are willing to pay the high costs of living in the city because city living is fun and the job is close. With hybrid work, the job may not count for as much but during the 2 years of the covid pandemic, much of the fun stuff in the city was shut down. Why pay $3000/month for a small apartment if the bars/clubs/symphony/opera/sports/good restaurants are closed and you can work from Fresno or Houston?

But just about all those bars/clubs/symphony/opera/sports/good restaurants are back and pretty soon your boss may want to see you at least once or twice a week (probably more if you want him to depend on you and consider you promotion material). Time to move back to town and good news! The $3000 small apartment may only be $2800.

dktshb Mar 30, 2022 3:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Reverberation (Post 9580838)
Two reasons I see for this:
1) Quality of life. Strung out fentanyl addicts forming tent encampments in playgrounds don’t make for approachable and livable cities.
2) cost of living. On the west coast, it’s become too expensive too fast. Additionally, land entitlement is too costly and takes too long for meaningful increases in housing supply. More is made in entitlements, arbitrage, and impact fees than in actually building affordable market rate housing.

Actually it was pretty much just the pandemic. I left SF for Tahoe for 1 1/2 years because every thing was closed and like most who work downtown I had other options to ride out the pandemic Back in the City now.

SIGSEGV Mar 30, 2022 3:34 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by dktshb (Post 9583587)
Actually it was pretty much just the pandemic. I left SF for Tahoe for 1 1/2 years because every thing was closed and like most who work downtown I had other options to ride out the pandemic Back in the City now.

Would you go to Tahoe again? My parents are seriously considering moving out of Reno due to all the smoke in the summer.

Xing Mar 30, 2022 3:51 PM

People left big cities at a point during the pandemic, but a large number of those people came back. Additionally, there was a pause on immigration, which someone already pointed out.

So, if you grabbed those numbers during that time period, and most of those people came back, it all just comes off as pointless. People left. People came back.

dktshb Mar 31, 2022 12:50 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SIGSEGV (Post 9583642)
Would you go to Tahoe again? My parents are seriously considering moving out of Reno due to all the smoke in the summer.

Yes, I have a home there. The fires and smoke have been bad the last couple years with about 30 days of heavy smoke, but that also happened in SF. It all depends on which way the wind carries the smoke. I was in NY in July and they had bad smoke from the fires in CA and Oregon while I was there. I am sure this is the new normal for the entire western united states, unfortunately.

LA21st Mar 31, 2022 3:41 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Xing (Post 9583685)
People left big cities at a point during the pandemic, but a large number of those people came back. Additionally, there was a pause on immigration, which someone already pointed out.

So, if you grabbed those numbers during that time period, and most of those people came back, it all just comes off as pointless. People left. People came back.

LA traffic is easily back. It is insane, just like it used to be pre 2020. In some places, it seems like it's heavier.

craigs Mar 31, 2022 5:40 AM

I left San Francisco the third week of March 2020 not only because everything shut down, but also because everything boarded up. The bars and restaurants were one thing, but when the highrise hotels boarded up, it was a signal that the disruption would be long and turbulent. And so it was.

skyhigh07 Apr 5, 2022 3:30 AM

California has been hemorrhaging middle class residents for years. Not sure why people are trying to spin this.

jd3189 Apr 5, 2022 7:22 AM

Just came back from a weekend in San Francisco and saw that despite all the news discussed about it here in this forum concerning housing and homeless, it wasn’t that bad. There was a lot of activity in both residential and commercial areas and foreign tourists were present along with the newer transplants and long-time residents.

Like I mentioned in another thread, the built form of SF outside of the core neighborhoods on the NE quadrant maintains high density and walkability while also being fun and simple to drive through. LA could learn a thing or two as well as other American cities trying to reach densities in which public transit and walking is just as viable as driving everywhere.

That being said, California has to embrace more urban development. Cities that have lost population during the pandemic will eventually grow again, but hopefully they grow in a way that does retain the working middle class.

Fortunately, I feel that SF still retained a bit of its identity within its neighborhoods despite the ongoing gentrification, which seemed to be limited to those newer developments in Mission Bay near Chase Center and Oracle Park.

Yuri Apr 12, 2022 5:09 PM

"Californian decline" just arrived in Brazil political discourse, specially in the ones happening in the far-right social media.

Interestingly, San Francisco area represented much better this new California stereotype, whereas it was only very few regions that grew faster in the 2010's than it did in 2000's, despite the high prices there. Its GDP is growing continuously at Chinese rates.

On the other hand, Los Angeles area and Central Valley population growth plunged in this decade and they're the main responsible for California slow-ish growth. And the main cause is not the "Californian communism", but the ending of Mexican immigration, something that the right section of political spectrum is asking for.

Go figure...

DCReid Apr 12, 2022 7:08 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Yuri (Post 9596489)
"Californian decline" just arrived in Brazil political discourse, specially in the ones happening in the far-right social media.

Interestingly, San Francisco area represented much better this new California stereotype, whereas it was only very few regions that grew faster in the 2010's than it did in 2000's, despite the high prices there. Its GDP is growing continuously at Chinese rates.

On the other hand, Los Angeles area and Central Valley population growth plunged in this decade and they're the main responsible for California slow-ish growth. And the main cause is not the "Californian communism", but the ending of Mexican immigration, something that the right section of political spectrum is asking for.

Go figure...

The Bay area was growing rapidly because many were chasing the dream of being in the center of the tech boom. I read that the bay area has drawn a large number of well educated Asian immigrants, especially from India, but I think many well educated Americans interested in tech were drawn there as well. I think that chasing is ending now and many are starting to look elsewhere. The Bay area may very well show a dramatic slowdown in growth like the LA has already. Isn't LA already like 40-50% Mexican already - it seems that LA is now losing other native born citizens much more than immigrants arriving. It's probably in a slow growth mode for the next decade as well, as it is so expensive. But LA seems to be blossoming even more culturally with new museums and art spaces, and the downtown is revived. But NYC has its 60/70s moment of relative 'decline', and has come back, so perhaps CA big cities will too.

FromSD Apr 13, 2022 12:54 AM

Whoever was writing headlines in LA Times on 25 March needs to take a long vacation. Population loss is transforming LA and SF? If only. Where are the empty freeways in LA or the urban prairies of the Sunset District of SF? When those things start happening I'll worry about population loss in California.

After 2000 the tech bubble burst, state tax revenues cratered, and there was much talk of California as a failed state. The state budget again took a hit following the 2007/8 real estate bubble, and again more talk in places like the New York Times of the failed state of California. Now we're seeing an explosion in property prices--but also healthy job growth and a massive state budget surplus--and again, California is doomed.

It's true that California isn't the population growth juggernaut that it was in the first 80 years of the 20th century. It turns out that California's population growth started to decelerate just about the time that easily developable land ran out in the urban coastal parts of the state. And not coincidentally housing prices in California started to go out of whack at that time also. Of course, housing prices were always relatively expensive in LA and SF, but the difference wasn't the magnitude that it is today. So the slowdown in population growth isn't surprising.

LA in particular doesn't appear to be a city in decline. Despite the apparent population loss, there are construction projects all over the city. The downtown skyline is booming. There is no abandonment. In the 1980s LAs population grew by 17% even though greenfield residential development was pretty much at an end. The city grew more crowded as newly arrived immigrant families doubled up in houses and apartments and converted garages. Schools on the east and south sides were bursting at the seams and the school district resorted to year round school to accommodate the growing numbers of students. School enrollments have now subsided and the schools that got built to handle the explosion in student population have excess capacity. I suspect that the pendulum is swinging back as the people in LA's overcrowded neighborhoods leave the city in search of lower housing costs--first to Inland Empire and High Desert, and then to other states.

Long story short, there will always be a cottage industry of headline writers signaling California's impending doom. The state has had such an important place in the nation's psyche, that it is just too tempting a target. I also think that as Texas and Florida continue to grow, they will find themselves victims of the same phenomenon.

homebucket Apr 13, 2022 5:05 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by FromSD (Post 9597040)
It's true that California isn't the population growth juggernaut that it was in the first 80 years of the 20th century. It turns out that California's population growth started to decelerate just about the time that easily developable land ran out in the urban coastal parts of the state. And not coincidentally housing prices in California started to go out of whack at that time also. Of course, housing prices were always relatively expensive in LA and SF, but the difference wasn't the magnitude that it is today. So the slowdown in population growth isn't surprising.

This is a good point. At least here in the Bay Area, there was still a large portion of the inner core Bay Area (East and South Bay) that was former ranch lands and orchards up until the 70s, 80s, and even the 90s. These parts resemble typical Sunbelt sprawl.

If you've ever been to the Bay Area or checked out a topo map, there's actually a nearly continuous ring of mountain ridges surrounding the inner core. And obviously there's a very large and wide bay, with protected wetlands as well. The only truly large, flat expanse is in the South Bay, in Santa Clara Valley. That's probably why this part of the Bay Area most resembles SoCal. Right now there's still room to sprawl in the outer Bay Area (Dublin/Pleasanton and beyond) out to Tracy, Stockton, and the Central Valley, but there's no more room left in the inner Bay Area so we're finally truly beginning to go vertical.

https://media.nationalgeographic.org.../314/31435.jpg

https://i.pinimg.com/originals/c6/45...4e8ee70d09.jpg

jd3189 Apr 14, 2022 12:38 AM

Would be cool to see how the Bay Area increase its density in this century. With the landscape that exists there and in SoCal, the cityscape in both places could start to look like American versions of Tokyo or Mexico City. Just by rezoning Silicon Valley to allow duplexes and small apartment buildings like in SF and Oakland would do wonders to make that place slightly less expensive.

Also, that map shows how fucking stupid urban sprawl was. Large swaths of developable land in most of our metros are filled with surface parking, strip malls, and SFHs that are now filled with people who have a strong attachment to their low-density living.

Nothing is inherently wrong with that, people ( even NIMBYs) deserve to own and protect their real estate properties and communities. However, if a place is growing rapidly with jobs and others moving in to work those jobs aren’t able to simply afford a studio apartment or closet to live in because the existing residents are unwilling to allow even a duplex to be constructed, that’s messed up. Or maybe it’s not. It’s just the new normal people in Silicon Valley and other desirable metros have to deal with.

DCReid Apr 14, 2022 2:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by jd3189 (Post 9598179)
Would be cool to see how the Bay Area increase its density in this century. With the landscape that exists there and in SoCal, the cityscape in both places could start to look like American versions of Tokyo or Mexico City. Just by rezoning Silicon Valley to allow duplexes and small apartment buildings like in SF and Oakland would do wonders to make that place slightly less expensive.

Also, that map shows how fucking stupid urban sprawl was. Large swaths of developable land in most of our metros are filled with surface parking, strip malls, and SFHs that are now filled with people who have a strong attachment to their low-density living.

Nothing is inherently wrong with that, people ( even NIMBYs) deserve to own and protect their real estate properties and communities. However, if a place is growing rapidly with jobs and others moving in to work those jobs aren’t able to simply afford a studio apartment or closet to live in because the existing residents are unwilling to allow even a duplex to be constructed, that’s messed up. Or maybe it’s not. It’s just the new normal people in Silicon Valley and other desirable metros have to deal with.

Although I don't live there, it seems that the Bay Area is already fairly dense already, especially SF and Oakland. However, I am confused why south of Market street in SF has not developed with high rise offices and residential, since it was mostly flat. Also, in Silicon Valley, I don't understand
why San Jose does not have a dense cluster of high-rises or is not booming with highrise construction like Austin, TX. I think one of LA and the Bay Area problems (and part of the problem of the US in general) is people prefer single family houses and sprawl.

SAN Man Apr 14, 2022 2:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCReid (Post 9598526)
Although I don't live there, it seems that the Bay Area is already fairly dense already, especially SF and Oakland. However, I am confused why south of Market street in SF has not developed with high rise offices and residential, since it was mostly flat. Also, in Silicon Valley, I don't understand
why San Jose does not have a dense cluster of high-rises or is not booming with highrise construction like Austin, TX. I think one of LA and the Bay Area problems (and part of the problem of the US in general) is people prefer single family houses and sprawl.

As I understand, those areas south of Market are landfill that were previous wetlands, or bay water. In a seismically active area those high rises would have to be anchored in bedrock? San Jose's airport is next to downtown San Jose, that would explain why they have a short skyline. Don't bring up the airport to San Diegans, it's a sore subject to urban enthusiasts down here.

http://www.franciscodacosta.com/arti...opoCreeks.jpeg

Crawford Apr 14, 2022 2:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCReid (Post 9598526)
Also, in Silicon Valley, I don't understand
why San Jose does not have a dense cluster of high-rises or is not booming with highrise construction like Austin, TX.

Have you been to Silicon Valley? It's all sprawl. No need for density or highrises. Also, it's ultra-NIMBY. And ringed by mountains.

Austin is pretty much all sprawl too. TX barely has zoning and is super pro-development, but I doubt Austin will see many highrises in the future. It's probably a momentary burst, like when Houston and Dallas came on the scene in the 1980's.

iheartthed Apr 14, 2022 2:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCReid (Post 9598526)
Although I don't live there, it seems that the Bay Area is already fairly dense already, especially SF and Oakland. However, I am confused why south of Market street in SF has not developed with high rise offices and residential, since it was mostly flat. Also, in Silicon Valley, I don't understand
why San Jose does not have a dense cluster of high-rises or is not booming with highrise construction like Austin, TX. I think one of LA and the Bay Area problems (and part of the problem of the US in general) is people prefer single family houses and sprawl.

The northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula is dense by American standards. Everything else in the Bay Area is fairly standard density for a major American metro. Santa Clara County, home of Silicon Valley, is roughly the same density as Oakland County, MI, home of the American auto industry.

Crawford Apr 14, 2022 2:40 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 9598572)
The northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula is dense by American standards. Everything else in the Bay Area is fairly standard density for a major American metro. Santa Clara County, home of Silicon Valley, is roughly the same density as Oakland County, MI, home of the American auto industry.

Though Santa Clara County doesn't really feel like Oakland County, MI. It's structurally denser, in a Sunbelt sort of way. It looks like Orange County, CA. Much of Santa Clara County is protected land.

Oakland County, MI is structurally semi-dense (streetcar suburbia) along the Woodward corridor, but it's mostly newer suburban and exurban sprawl.

SAN Man Apr 14, 2022 3:16 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 9598572)
The northern tip of the San Francisco peninsula is dense by American standards. Everything else in the Bay Area is fairly standard density for a major American metro. Santa Clara County, home of Silicon Valley, is roughly the same density as Oakland County, MI, home of the American auto industry.

Most of the land in Santa Clara County is too rugged for development.
https://www.google.com/maps/place/Sa...4d-121.8907041

The weighted density is high.

JManc Apr 14, 2022 3:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9598563)
Have you been to Silicon Valley? It's all sprawl. No need for density or highrises. Also, it's ultra-NIMBY. And ringed by mountains.

Austin is pretty much all sprawl too. TX barely has zoning and is super pro-development, but I doubt Austin will see many highrises in the future. It's probably a momentary burst, like when Houston and Dallas came on the scene in the 1980's.

I'm not sure how you base this claim. First, Texas doesn't handle zoning or development, the cities do. And second, all the cities are densifying and that's only going to continue with the rise in property values and changes in living preferences. Houston is the only city without zoning, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, etc. all do. Austin is building residential while Dallas and Houston built a ton of office towers during the oil boom. It's totally different ball game now.

Crawford Apr 14, 2022 3:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by JManc (Post 9598665)
I'm not sure how you base this claim. First, Texas doesn't handle zoning or development, the cities do. And second, all the cities are densifying and that's only going to continue with the rise in property values and changes in living preferences. Houston is the only city without zoning, Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Ft. Worth, etc. all do. And Houston is building tall as well.

TX is extremely pro development relative to CA. The state basically is totally hands-off, while states like CA, NY, etc. have extensive state level environmental rules that totally change the development equation. It takes years, and multiple layers of approvals, to build almost anything. In TX you basically built what you want, when you want, even when there's zoning.

Dallas and Houston had enormous 1980's highrise booms. Since then, very few highrises have been built. Austin currently has an enormous highrise boom, very similar to the 1980's Dallas/Houston scenarios.

homebucket Apr 14, 2022 3:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9598585)
Though Santa Clara County doesn't really feel like Oakland County, MI. It's structurally denser, in a Sunbelt sort of way. It looks like Orange County, CA. Much of Santa Clara County is protected land.

This is actually intentional. In the 50s-60s, there was a city manager by the name of A.P. “Dutch” Hamann who grew up in Orange County and wanted a more suburban feel for SJ. He is on the record as being inspired by LA, and rather than concentrating economic development in downtown SJ, he annexed unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County on the outskirts of the city, and heavily developed those farmland areas. He also rejected BART in favor of a series of freeways and expressways. Suburban sprawl became the preferred method of development. And now we are left with the chaotic sprawly mess that we see today.

iheartthed Apr 14, 2022 3:32 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9598585)
Though Santa Clara County doesn't really feel like Oakland County, MI. It's structurally denser, in a Sunbelt sort of way. It looks like Orange County, CA. Much of Santa Clara County is protected land.

Oakland County, MI is structurally semi-dense (streetcar suburbia) along the Woodward corridor, but it's mostly newer suburban and exurban sprawl.

Perhaps. Macomb County is also more dense than Santa Clara County on average, though.

When you look at the weighted density by municipality, Santa Clara (5,629 ppsm) does come out somewhat ahead of both Oakland (2,446 ppsm) and Macomb (3,249 ppsm). But these are not extraordinarily different numbers, IMO. Especially when you consider that one of the largest municipalities in the country is located in Santa Clara County.

homebucket Apr 14, 2022 3:55 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCReid (Post 9598526)
Also, in Silicon Valley, I don't understand why San Jose does not have a dense cluster of high-rises or is not booming with highrise construction like Austin, TX. I think one of LA and the Bay Area problems (and part of the problem of the US in general) is people prefer single family houses and sprawl.

I think tech HQs traditionally have tended to be low-rise sprawly campuses. Even though they have urban office presence in SF (Salesforce, Facebook, Google), the newer tech HQ developments in Silicon Valley itself for some reason insist on remaining very sprawly (Apple Park, Facebook's MPK 21, Google's Charleston East).

And then there's also the airport location.

https://1.bp.blogspot.com/-Z6t-UcH3T...rtino-0008.JPG

https://beta.images.theglobeandmail....w940/image.jpg

https://www.eastbaytimes.com/wp-cont...01-3.jpg?w=620

SAN Man Apr 14, 2022 3:59 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 9598696)
Perhaps. Macomb County is also more dense than Santa Clara County on average, though.

When you look at the weighted density by municipality, Santa Clara (5,629 ppsm) does come out somewhat ahead of both Oakland (2,446 ppsm) and Macomb (3,249 ppsm). But these are not extraordinarily different numbers, IMO. Especially when you consider that one of the largest municipalities in the country is located in Santa Clara County.

Santa Clara County's weighted density is more than double Oakland County's. The look and feel is going to be a stark contrast between the two. That's similar to the difference between Orange County and Atlanta.

JManc Apr 14, 2022 4:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 9598729)
I think tech HQs traditionally have tended to be low-rise sprawly campuses. Even though they have urban office presence in SF (Salesforce, Facebook, Google), the newer tech HQ developments in Silicon Valley itself for some reason insist on remaining very sprawly (Apple Park, Facebook's MPK 21, Google's Charleston East).

I work in one of those buildings. Tech does love office parks though (huge work forces and back office stuff) though all of them have a presence in urban downtown areas; NYC, SF, etc.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9598674)
TX is extremely pro development relative to CA. The state basically is totally hands-off, while states like CA, NY, etc. have extensive state level environmental rules that totally change the development equation. It takes years, and multiple layers of approvals, to build almost anything. In TX you basically built what you want, when you want, even when there's zoning.

Dallas and Houston had enormous 1980's highrise booms. Since then, very few highrises have been built. Austin currently has an enormous highrise boom, very similar to the 1980's Dallas/Houston scenarios.

Very different scenarios. Houston and Dallas were flush with oil cash and built trophy towers like crazy during the 70's and early 80's with little regard to cost overruns. It was highly unsustainable and were left with a massive office glut. Austin today is mainly building residential and modest office space leased by tech companies. The impression I get with Austin is that despite the rapid development, it's smarter and more pragmatic. Very different.

iheartthed Apr 14, 2022 4:42 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SAN Man (Post 9598737)
Santa Clara County's weighted density is more than double Oakland County's. The look and feel is going to be a stark contrast between the two. That's similar to the difference between Orange County and Atlanta.

It's not a stark contrast. Both are auto-oriented suburbia. Yes, wider roads and larger lots in Oakland County, but the lifestyles are largely the same. They also have a lot of communities within the same density range.

homebucket Apr 14, 2022 5:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 9598802)
It's not a stark contrast. Both are auto-oriented suburbia. Yes, wider roads and larger lots in Oakland County, but the lifestyles are largely the same. They also have a lot of communities within the same density range.

I'm not familiar with Oakland County, but yeah, Santa Clara County is basically dense suburbia. Lots of tract homes, wide streets, strip malls and plazas. Very autocentric. It's virtually identical to Orange County.

Buckeye Native 001 Apr 14, 2022 5:45 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9598585)
It looks like Orange County, CA. Much of Santa Clara County is protected land.

Quote:

Originally Posted by homebucket (Post 9598685)
This is actually intentional. In the 50s-60s, there was a city manager by the name of A.P. “Dutch” Hamann who grew up in Orange County and wanted a more suburban feel for SJ. He is on the record as being inspired by LA, and rather than concentrating economic development in downtown SJ, he annexed unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County on the outskirts of the city, and heavily developed those farmland areas. He also rejected BART in favor of a series of freeways and expressways. Suburban sprawl became the preferred method of development. And now we are left with the chaotic sprawly mess that we see today.

I'm comforted by not being the only person who felt this way.

I went up to San Jose for a job offer in 2013. Ten minutes of driving on the 880 (yes, I lived in SoCal...) and the cost to rent a bedroom in a suburban SJ house (between $900 and $1100 at the time) were enough to dissuade me from relocating, but the entire time I was there I couldn't shake the feeling that San Jose (which I thought had a very nice downtown, fwiw) and Silicon Valley in general felt and looked like an upscale Orange County, as absurd as that may sound. There's so much money, power and influence flowing through that valley that for someone like me who wasn't looking to relocate for a tech job (the job offer was for a probation officer position at Santa Clara County), it was hard not to feel out of place.

Crawford Apr 14, 2022 5:51 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buckeye Native 001 (Post 9598918)
I'm comforted by not being the only person who felt this way.

I went up to San Jose for a job offer in 2013. Ten minutes of driving on the 880 (yes, I lived in SoCal...) and the cost to rent a bedroom in a suburban SJ house (between $900 and $1100 at the time) were enough to dissuade me from relocating, but the entire time I was there I couldn't shake the feeling that San Jose (which I thought had a very nice downtown, fwiw) and Silicon Valley in general felt and looked like an upscale (as absurd as that may seem) Orange County.

To me, OC feels more upscale overall, bc its so blingy and into flashy wealth. Coastal OC is like the anti-Connecticut.

But, yeah, they look and feel very similar. Of course, OC has the coast, home prices that are maybe half that of Santa Clara, and is much less Asian. Santa Clara is probably majority or at least plurality Asian. OC doesn't feel that Asian for CA standards, outside of the northern end of the county around Garden Grove, and obviously Irvine.

SAN Man Apr 14, 2022 5:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 9598802)
It's not a stark contrast. Both are auto-oriented suburbia. Yes, wider roads and larger lots in Oakland County, but the lifestyles are largely the same. They also have a lot of communities within the same density range.

95% of the developed land in the US is auto oriented suburbia. If that's the only thing you're looking at then yeah, I guess they're similar, despite Santa Clara having double the weighted population density.

Buckeye Native 001 Apr 14, 2022 5:56 PM

The parts of SJ I visited and drove through felt like more upscale/richer versions of Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Anaheim. Coastal OC (Newport, Corona, Laguna, San Juan Capistrano) is its own thing, not much of an equivalent to that anywhere, but when I lived in Orange County, the majority of my time was spent in inland OC for school and work (City of Orange, Tustin, Santa Ana and Irvine in particular).

homebucket Apr 14, 2022 5:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Crawford (Post 9598931)
To me, OC feels more upscale overall, bc its so blingy and into flashy wealth. Coastal OC is like the anti-Connecticut.

But, yeah, they look and feel very similar. Of course, OC has the coast, home prices that are maybe half that of Santa Clara, and is much less Asian. Santa Clara is probably majority or at least plurality Asian. OC doesn't feel that Asian for CA standards, outside of the northern end of the county around Garden Grove, and obviously Irvine.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buckeye Native 001 (Post 9598938)
The parts of SJ I visited and drove through felt like more upscale/richer versions of Westminster, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Anaheim. Coastal OC (Newport, Corona, Laguna, San Juan Capistrano) is its own thing, not much of an equivalent to that anywhere, but when I lived in Orange County, the majority of my time was spent in inland OC for school and work (City of Orange and Santa Ana in particular).

Yeah, the comparison is more so inland OC. Maybe San Gabriel Valley too. The stretch from Monterey Park to Rowland Heights along the 60 reminds me of Cupertino and Saratoga. There's obviously nothing like coastal OC in Santa Clara County.

Buckeye Native 001 Apr 14, 2022 6:00 PM

Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz aren't even in Santa Clara County, for example ;)

Funny, I was thinking about comparisons to SG Valley (El Monte, Monterey Park and Azusa) but didn't say anything.

Hell, coastal Bay Area (are Pacific Grove and Monterey part of that?) is so different from coastal SoCal at least in my limited experiences with the Bay Area.

iheartthed Apr 14, 2022 6:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by SAN Man (Post 9598934)
95% of the developed land in the US is auto oriented suburbia. If that's the only thing you're looking at then yeah, I guess they're similar, despite Santa Clara having double the weighted population density.

Hence my point lol. Most of the Bay Area looks like the rest of America... the northern portion of the SF peninsula being the exception.

DCReid Apr 14, 2022 6:16 PM

This downtown seems pitiful for the largest city of 1 million in the center of the most US prosperous metro area:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jo..._(cropped).jpg


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jo..._(cropped).jpg

SAN Man Apr 14, 2022 6:25 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by DCReid (Post 9598978)
This downtown seems pitiful for the largest city of 1 million in the center of the most US prosperous metro area:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jo..._(cropped).jpg


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/San_Jo..._(cropped).jpg

The San Jose airport has a lot to do with it.

https://c8.alamy.com/comp/AC301W/aer...101-AC301W.jpg

Buckeye Native 001 Apr 14, 2022 6:27 PM

The airport is right next door to Downtown. I think its even closer than PHX is to Downtown Phoenix.

SAN Man Apr 14, 2022 6:31 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by iheartthed (Post 9598956)
Hence my point lol. Most of the Bay Area looks like the rest of America... the northern portion of the SF peninsula being the exception.

California cities have dense suburbia, which is quite different from suburban midwest cities. Western cities generally have dense sprawl compared to the midwest and east coast, which is why I said they have stark differences in look and feel. Suburbs are suburbs though, it's not like we're comparing Manhattan to Orange County, so I see what you're saying that they're both similar because they're both auto-oriented.

JManc Apr 14, 2022 7:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Buckeye Native 001 (Post 9598997)
The airport is right next door to Downtown. I think its even closer than PHX is to Downtown Phoenix.

It is. You can literally wave at people in the Southwest window seats flying overhead while having a beer downtown.


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