Where have all the people gone? The price of living in the Garden of Eden | Street Jazz

Where have all the people gone? The price of living in the Garden of Eden

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A few weeks ago I walked around the the parking lot of an apartment complex which has provided housing for residents of Fayetteville, well, since almost the dawn of time it might seem. Located near the University of Arkansas, it has long been the home to many folks of modest means, which also includes folks who are on the lower end of the income level. I took note of all the construction, and the signs welcoming new residents.

Of course, this haven for many also meant that it was pretty rundown. One might also say that cockroaches were the residents, and human beings were the infestation.

Now, of course, things have changed, since they promote themselves as the “greenest apartments in Arkansas.”

And they aren’t just apartments any more - they have now evolved into “flats.” Too bad they don’t have an elevator; one can almost imagine the promotional material describing them as “lifts.” And yes, the phone number is listed in the European style, so you just know you’re living in a rarified atmosphere.

No word on whether or not maintenance workers are required to say, “Top of the mornin’ to you, guvnor,” every morning.

Rent starts at $795 a month, with a $500 deposit. Oh, they pay for utilities (for that price they had better) and basic cable.

While dogs and cats are allowed, “exotic pets” pets are not.

Does this mean that all dogs and cats have to be pure bred?

But animals are not especially eco-friendly, so we must pay a steep deposit for our friends. From the website:

$200.00 for pets less than 20 lbs per pet (small dogs and cats)

$300.00 for pets between 20 and 40 lbs per pet (medium dogs)

$400.00 for pets more than 40 lbs (large dogs)

Monthly Pet Rent: $20.00 for one pet / $35.00 for two pets

Wow. Try not paying that $20 for your canine companion, and the “Top of the mornin, guvnor!” may well change to “Where’s the money, mate?”

While you can have two cars, cuz, you know, sometimes folks do co-cohabite - especially if they need money to pay for having a pet around - it’s an additional $20 a month for the second car. Love can be expensive.

From their website:

With our great location by the trail and within walking distance of so many destinations, we hope you’ll find you are using your car less often.

Boy, that sounds nice and socially responsible, but these are the same folks charging you $20 for the privilege of having a cat curl up with you at night.

So yeah, in theory you get two parking spaces, but you’ll get more than stern glances if you actually want to use the second one. So if you if fall in love, make ‘em sell their car before they move in - that will really be a test of true love.

There are no indications on the website of any penalties you may incur if you have an overnight guest, and they bring their own transportation. But you just gotta know, somebody will be watching, somewhere . . .

Why do you put this stuff where it is so easy for me to find?

Mind you, this is exactly the sort of apartment design that sends some in city administrations around the world into the throes of ecstasy, I suppose one can’t blame them. We have a lot of crappy apartment buildings in the world, and human beings live in pretty awful circumstances.

I have written about the terrible conditions that some in Fayetteville find themselves living in.

But . . .

Unlike the Biblical Garden of Eden, this brand new eco-village sort of haven in our midst did not spring out of nowhere. In fact, the building is a refurbishing a an existing apartment complex, set in a modest neighborhood close to the UA. For many years fellow citizens of Fayetteville have been living there.

How many are there now?

Past residents complained of -barely-working heating and air conditioning, and washing machines whines which ate quarters, and even a few cases of black mold.

There stories of Haz-Mat teams on the property after residents were “asked to leave” and their apartments were gutted. Others who still lived in the apartments - which were never very attractive at the best of times - found their rents jacked up several hundred dollars a month.

Who lived there?

Fayetteville’s working poor, folks with disabilities, evacuees from Hurricane Katrina, the elderly.

These are the types of people who don’t look good on promotional literature or websites for “green” apartment (sorry, “flat” - my bad) living. But they are the sort of people that we might expect Fayetteville’s alderman to give a care about on occasion.

“What happened to the people to used to live here?” should be a standard question before anyone goes nuts over these projects.

But it never has been, and I doubt it ever will be.

But hey, each apartment comes with high speed Internet.

******

Quote of the Day

“What we think, or what we know, or what we believe is, in the end, of little consequence. The only consequence is what we do." — John Ruskin

rsdrake@cox.net

From the ArkTimes store

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