Tucson Progressive

Pamela Powers Hannley, a progressive voice for Arizona

The Developers’ Hour on the JOLT: Mini-dorm building is community service

1036 E. Waverly St.-- an old house being destroyed by Michael Goodman. (Photo Credit: Pamela Powers)

A full hour of yesterday’s John C. Scott Show on the JOLT (KJLL 1330AM) was devoted to promoting the value of mini-dorms. Ick. (Hopefully, they had to pay for this lengthy advertorial on mini-dorms. If not, the JOLT missed an opportunity to make some serious change.)

Michael Goodman, Richard Studwell, and another developer chatted on the radio about the selfless community service they provide by knocking down old houses in historic neighborhoods and replacing them with mini-dorms for UA students.

Their schtick is that since the state of Arizona is too poor to build student housing, big-hearted developers– like them– must come to the rescue and build mini-dorms. Not enough student housing has been a long-term problem at the UA. Since the state makes money on students living in dorms, I don’t understand why the UA rarely builds them– unless, of course, the developers lobby the state not to build dorms. (After all, dorms would cut into their action.)

The latest flash point of mini-dorm construction is in the Jefferson Park Neighborhood (between Campbell and Park, south of Grant). On the radio yesterday, the developers’ contention was that the Jefferson Park is a ramshackled neighborhood of decaying 1950s ranch houses that have no architectural value. They said that many of the houses are so far gone that they can’t be renovated and should be torn down and replaced with mini-dorms.

They also tried to paint the neighborhood activists who oppose the rape of their neighborhood and demolition of family homes as small group of NIMBY (Not In My Backyard) kooks who don’t like living near noisy college students.

Territorial style house directly across the street from the demolished house which will soon be a mini-dorm. (Photo Credit: Pamela Powers)

To fact-check their statements on the radio, I drove around Jefferson Park on my way home yesterday.

Yes, there are some rundown rentals– as there are in all midtown and downtown neighborhoods in Tucson, thanks to local slumlords. (BTW, City Council Members, isn’t there something you can do about slumlords who allow their unkempt properties to blight our older neighborhoods?)

The majority of the Jefferson Park houses were well-kept older homes with mature vegetation. There was a mix of 1930s Territorial style homes and 1950s brick bungalows. I didn’t see any traditional ranch houses, as there are on the east side. The houses on East Waverly Street that surround 1036 (above), which is being demolished by Goodman, are all very nice. It’s sad that this residential street filled with well-appointed older homes will be plagued with the blemish of a mini-dorm.

Another Territorial style house on East Waverly, near the new mini-dorm site. (Photo Credit: Pamela Powers)

Many long-time Tucsonans lament the loss of Barrio Viejo historic homes that were demolished when the Tucson Convention Center was built. I believe that in 10 years when the mini-dorms are crumbling we will lament the loss of historic homes in the city’s core.

Don’t forget the candlelight vigil in front of 1036 E. Waverly on Friday, January 7 at 6:30 p.m. Also, don’t forget to take the mini-dorm poll.

17 comments on “The Developers’ Hour on the JOLT: Mini-dorm building is community service

  1. UofASteve
    January 5, 2011

    If these homes are so “historic”, maybe their owners should have put a deed restriction on them before they were sold. Since they didnt, obviously they didnt care enough about their “historic” status.

  2. mini-dorm neighbor
    January 5, 2011

    When it comes to standing up to mini-dorm developers and other irresponsible landlords, we could learn a thing or two from Washington, DC. Specifically, from the neighbors of Georgetown University.
    One of them got so tired of being sleep-deprived by partying students that he created a website to document their behavior. See:
    http://www.drunkengeorgetownstudents.com
    And here’s the letter that he sends to the owners of problem properties:
    http://www.drunkengeorgetownstudents.com/p/dear-landlord.html

  3. JC Jefferson Park
    January 5, 2011

    Pamela,
    Thank you so much for putting this story out. We need this kind of support to save Jefferson Park from this group of big-hearted developers that only want to pocket a lot of money at the expense of the neighborhoods. Kind of reminds you of the wall street mentality that just about broke this nation.

    • Pamela Powers
      January 5, 2011

      The mini-dorm stories have been very well-read. I hope they wake some people up downtown.

  4. Lillian Hall
    January 5, 2011

    These guys are not doing any service but to their own pocketbook. Charging up to three- to four thousand dollars per mini-dorm per month and owning dozens of properties, these guys are raking in the bucks. Why not go to the tax appraisers website and see how many properties each one of these guys owns to get an idea. If they were interested in serving the community, they could buy old historic homes, put people to work renovating them, and then rent them to smaller groups of students.  Let´s not confuse unbridled greed with community service.

    • JoeS
      January 5, 2011

      “these guys are raking in the bucks.”

      “Let´s not confuse unbridled greed with community service.”

      Hehe….if there were no so called “greedy” people then there would be no “rich” people to make “pay their fair share”

      Community service does not pay the bills.

      • leftfield
        January 5, 2011

        …there would be no “rich” people to make “pay their fair share”

        You favor a tax increase for the wealthy?  I’m surprised.  I’d have thought you were one of those guys who say, “It’s their money, why shouldn’t they get to keep it”?

  5. George
    January 5, 2011

    THANK YOU!
    I do hope something happens…. We need a miracle. And yes, they care (Studwell and Goodman) nothing for the community nor for Tucson. Students are their gravy train. It is about the almightily dollar are %#@@%@*&^% everyone else.
    Any word from John C. Scott? I would never imagine he would just turn over his show to Studwell. Please keep us informed!
    And again thank you for actually covering the story. The Sentinel, The Star…  were not interested.
    Truly thanks…

    • Pamela Powers
      January 5, 2011

      The Citizen is on your side! Both the 3 Sonorans and Tucson Progressive blogs are watching this issue. City Council members have asked to meet with US on the mini-dorm issue!

      • tiponeill
        January 5, 2011

        Not me – as is usual with TC.com I resent “progressive” being hijacked by whichever blogger has a petty grievance.
        I don’t care about the dorms – rich white people fighting each other over property.
        With all the things in AZ we need to be concerned about, this rates a big zero on my list.

      • JoeS
        January 5, 2011

        Tip

        Thanks for the good ol’ fashioned belly laugh,  I needed it.

      • JoeS
        January 6, 2011

        ” rich white people fighting each other over property”

        Is this the same stolen property/land that rightfully belongs to the indiginous peoples?

      • fraser007
        January 5, 2011

        Dont let all that power go to your head.

  6. Pingback: Mini-dorm controversy heats up on blogs and the JOLT: Take a video tour of mini-dorms in the Feldman Neighborhood (video) - Tucson Progressive

  7. Pingback: U of A Neighborhoods and Single Family Zoning « Urban University Interface.com

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About

The Tucson Progressive: Pamela Powers Hannley

I stand on the side of Love. I believe in kindness to all creatures on Earth and the inherent self-worth of all individuals--not just people who agree with me or look like me.

Widespread economic and social injustice prompted me to become a candidate for the Arizona House, representing Legislative District 9 in the 2016 election. My platform focuses on economic reforms to grow Arizona's economy, establish a state-based public bank, fix our infrastructure, fully fund public education, growlocal small businesses and community banks, and put people back to work at good-paying jobs. I also stand for equal rights, choice, and paycheck fairness for women. I am running as a progressive and running clean.

My day job is managing editor for the American Journal of Medicine, an academic medicine journal with a worldwide circulation. In addition, my husband and I co-direct Arizonans for a New Economy, Arizona's public banking initiative. I am a member of the national board of the Public Banking Institute, and I am co-chair of the Arizona Democratic Progressive Caucus, the largest caucus of the Arizona Democratic Party.

I am a published author, photographer, videographer, clay artist, mother, nana, and wife. I have a bachelor's degree in journalism from Ohio State University and a masters in public health from the University of Arizona. I grew up in Amherst, Ohio, but I have lived in Tucson, Arizona since 1981. I am a proud member of the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tucson and the Public Relations Society of America.

My Tucson Progressive blog and Facebook page feature large doses of liberal ideas, local, state, and national politics, and random bits of humor. I also blog at Blog for Arizona and the Huffington Post.

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