Are Spotsy Towne Centre Apartments the Future?
The phrase “Live, Work, Play” has become the go to slogan recently for local developers to promote their projects. For this project, the phrase implies that tenets living in the proposed Spotsy Towne Centre apartments would work in the mall or the Central Park area. Is it more plausible this would attract new residents looking for close access to I-95 to commute north?
Historically, the standard for housing affordability has been that households should not ideally spend more than 30% of their income on housing. Based on the developers projected prices tenets would need to make roughly $45,000 annually to fit this standard. It is likely most retail workers would not reach this level and even some entry-level county employees would struggle to reach it even for a 1-bedroom apartment.
Market forces should drive development, but there is a reason our local officials were given the authority to approve projects; so localities could manage and control community development.
It does not seem farfetched to assume that developers would have had some informal conversations with local officials to gauge their openness to such a transformative project in the Spotsy Towne Centre. It is also not farfetched to assume that if this project is successful it would be expanded. Community dissatisfaction with county development seems to mostly stem from the feeling of being left in the dark - uninformed about the future of the community - and the only chance of that feeling changing is if developers and local officials are more open and straight forward about how these isolated projects fit into their vision for the future.
Click here to read Scott Shenk’s Free Lance-Star article reviewing a recent community meeting on this project.