Second chance for a better Burlingame
Periodically, a developer misjudges when the market is saturated and has to reduce prices to sell his homes. The city had to reduce prices at Burlingame because there weren’t enough buyers.
A private-sector builder would, at this point, be in a holding pattern, with no plans for further development until the market caught up. Instead, the city is asking the taxpayers to pay the cost of a loan for 25 years so they can build two more phases at Burlingame now.
As this whole exercise has unfortunately proved, there really are things that the private sector does better than even the best intended government. The private sector can’t ask taxpayers for subsidies when it makes poor business decisions. This is looking more like a teaching exercise for young planners and managers at the city to build a next-step career resume than anything else.
The original concept of Burlingame was to create a land bank to be incrementally built upon to keep up with housing needs. Luckily, this first phase was so badly bungled, we are getting a second chance to use this asset wisely.
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