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October 5, 2007

Developers' Playbook: Hammer down the nail house

Every mega-developer does it!


When you can't get a property owner to agree to sell, or they stubbornly resist the government's power to seize their property for a private developer, you take down every building you possibly can, thus removing the neighborhood, creating a barren landscape for remaining residents, and putting screws to the owner.

In China, these buildings are poignantly called "Nail Houses." This latest nail house, is located in Shenzhen, in south China's Guangdong Province (see, Zona Europa, The Shenzhen Nail House). This nail house is not to be confused with the Chongqing nail house, which was covered by the international press earlier this year after pictures were circulated on the Internet.

Bruce Ratner is in the process of creating the same conditions in Brooklyn (see, Atlantic Yards Report, "Coming demolitions mean "urban room" at crucial corner").

The most unfortunate aspect of this tactic, is that, in the end, even if a property owner is able to convince a judge to protect his private property rights, nearly an entire neighborhood has been wiped off the map and the damage to the community and municipality has already been done. The most recent example that comes to mind is in Norwood, OH.

Posted by lumi at October 5, 2007 8:20 AM