walkitout (walkitout) wrote,

Where the apartments are being built

R. and I have been puzzling over the Northborough Crossing development. On the one hand, it makes a ton of sense: within an hour of both Providence and Boston, and even closer to Worcester. Still, it seems weird that Avalon has put a couple of big complexes in there recently (at Northborough Crossing and in Shrewsbury). These are greenfields New Urbanist developments (well, for sure the Northborough Crossing is New Urbanist). There is green field space closer in (to any one of these, for sure, altho perhaps not to capture all three job markets, plus the Marlboro exurban office space) to develop on (never mind greyfields opportunities). But no one is building stupid stuff right now; this _must_ make sense.

And I think I've figured out how it makes sense. If you lose your house to foreclosure, you don't go straight to living on the street (especially if the foreclosure moratoria bought you enough time to save up a big pile of money for rent, say); you go rent an apartment. So putting in big complexes in the area for families who lost their houses to move into might make sense. And while Massachusetts by no means suffered disproportionately from foreclosure, Worcester County suffered more than most of the rest of the state. These should pick up a lot of families that lived scattered around, but who work in Marlborough or nearby -- and also pick up some number of families that lived very close by and don't want to transfer their kids to a different school (that I'm a lot less sure about).
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