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Wednesday, March 04, 2009

LA Times: Housing Development Sites Become "Wasteland"

by Calculated Risk on 3/04/2009 05:00:00 PM

From the LA Times: As projects grind to a halt, home sites turn to wasteland

By day, it's far too quiet at the site of a planned housing and retail development on a former Navy base in Oakland.

At night, neighbors can hear the thieves come out.

They rip out copper wire, haul away pipes and take anything else they can steal from dozens of buildings on the site, abandoned after Irvine developer SunCal Cos. fell victim to the economy.

It's a scene not uncommon throughout California...

"I hear hacking and see scary bonfires in the middle of the night," said Don Johnson, a retired Coast Guard employee who lives near the defunct Oak Knoll Naval Medical Center in Oakland.

Nearly 250 residential developments with a combined total of 9,389 houses and condominiums have been halted in California, according to research firm Hanley Wood Market Intelligence. The units, worth close to $3.5 billion, were in various stages of development.
Some of these units have been mothballed (with fences and guards), others essentially abandoned. This is just more supply waiting for the market to improve.