Monday, December 18, 2006

Times on Building Deadlines

Yesterday's NY Times has an interesting story on a Florida development where purchasers were originally given three years to build their homes.  The development was designed following new urbanist ideas, so the building deadline was intended in part to get some density quickly.  In part because of a decline in prices, which left a lot of the lots in the hands of speculators who can't now unload the property, most of the lots are unbuilt.  So the developer has now extended the deadline to build for two years.  There's a lot of good stuff in the article, but this extension issue seems particularly interesting -- the people who actually built on time were stiffed, though it's not clear to me that they'd be better off if the original deadline was enforced -- if that happened, many of the lots would have been forfeited, and the delays might have been even greater.

Ben Barros

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