Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Kettering Tower Facing Foreclosure: Symbolic...

...of a few things, actually.

The Failure of Dayton: Skyscrapers are totemic structures, and the tallest building in a city usually has some signifigance, the home to the major bank or corporation or a personal statement by a sucessful local buisnessman. Thus the bankruptcy of the Kettering Tower, the tallest building on the skyline, is a nice visual shorthand for the economic and social failure (or, at best, stagnation) of the Dayton region.

The Death of Downtown: The Kettering Tower's vacancy rate was not reported. But we do known that the downtown vacancy rate is around 30%-40%...and thats just the buildings that are actually still on the market. Very few businesses and proffessionals want to locate downtown so no one to lease to. Recall that skyscrapers exist mainly for economic reasons, that land prices and demand for space is so high that it makes economic sense to go "up". In downtown Dayton the tendancy isn't to go "up" anymore but to go "parking lot" or grassy field. The latest "market signal" for a large downtown property was the Arcade auction, sold to a single bidder for around $600,000 - $700,000.

The Decline of the Skyscraper: Maybe not that popular of a building type anymore? It seems the campus concept and midrise/lowrise construction is more popular for office space in the smaller metro areas. Form follows finance and maybe tall buildings dont make financial sense in certain markets.

It should be noted that the Kettering Tower is not foreclosed yet. The court has appointed a reciever, which is CB Richard Ellis. The double irony is the CBRE is the agent for NCR's sale of their former corporate HQ, and was the agent (along with Miller Valentine) for the 2005 sale of the tower by the Kettering Trust to the currrent owners (a NY investment partnership).


Brian said...

It's like that book Things Fall Apart. When is the dust going to settle in Dayton, yeesh.

Unknown said...

scary indeed.

isn't a skyscraper a symbol of "technological progress?"

so what does it mean when one is in foreclosure?