Facebook Frustrations and Condo Dreams
In many ways, the rise of news site comments and Facebook contributed to the decline of local blogging. Even in the height of the QC blogosphere, however, and even with the crazy comments this blog used to get, I always felt like the blog comments were better than the comments on the newspaper websites. One of the arguments back then was always whether or not to allow fully anonymous comments, which certainly has its pros and cons. Many insisted that the quality of comments would go up if people were forced to use a consistent screenname, or even their own real name. I opted to continue allowing anonymous comments, which is still true today, because I felt it allowed more insider info that people would have felt uncomfortable logging in to post.
Now, over 10 years after the launch of QuadCityImages, Facebook has proven that no matter how much peoples' identities are revealed, they will still say incredibly stupid things. I won't even get into the current national political scene, but locally, I've spent far too much time trying to argue with people on Facebook who seem to have no grasp of reality. This post on KWQC's Facebook page is a perfect example. The news story posted was essentially a reminder of old news, regarding the 400 River project, but over a hundred comments poured in about how stupid people felt the proposed condo building was. Here are some examples, with names removed so as not to embarrass them further.
The comments ranged from those above, doubting that anyone would want to live downtown, or not understanding that some people in the QC can actually afford $500k+ homes, to people with no concept of how capitalism or city planning work whatsoever. Stuff like wondering why "they" don't build "affordable housing" instead. Over the years I've learned that a lot of people seem to think the city just plunks down businesses, factories, and homes like they're building a Lego city. I'm sure many of those commenting would be shocked to find out the going rate of apartments in the newer market-rate downtown apartment buildings, as it wouldn't fit into their stuck-in-the-1980's view of Davenport.
All that said, the 400 River condos may well not happen. Even if there are 36 people who are willing to spend $465k and up for the units, they may read the kind of garbage above and worry about their chances to resell them in the future. I am extremely hopeful that the building is built as planned, because it looks great, it would be the biggest skyline-changer since the Figge, and also a slap in the face to all the people underestimating downtown Davenport over the last decade. I applaud longtime downtown (and QCI reader) JJ Condon and his partners for having the vision to put something bold on the table. Now let's hope they can make it happen.
If it doesn't work out, there's always a $695k condo still available in Kone Center.