Suburban life is going through a dramatic change locally…
The jobless recovery isn’t helping Kansas City hold on to the diminishing American Middle-Class and that means harsh times for people who once thought of the suburbs as a refuge reality. Sadly, there’s no hiding from global macroeconomic shifts. So many foreclosures and increasing suburban crime prove this fact.
Technically, they say we’re in The Great Recession and in the midst of a jobless recovery. One of the highlights of this trend is not only the disappearance of the American Middle-Class but an upcoming demographic shift that’s sure to change the composition of Kansas City once again.
Put simply, the rich people are coming back to Kansas City’s urban core.
Chris Rock has a great joke about this trend that’s really just the latest manifestation of gentrification. Rock remembers a white guy moving into his neighborhood during his youth, and thinks to himself "Aw Hell, Here Comes The Neighborhood."
So far Kansas City Gentrification has been rather kind. The Crossroads simply moved out hobos and unproductive warehouses when that neighborhood turned into a collection of condos, lofts, overpriced office space and trendy (money-losing) art galleries.
Other moves to lure people with money back into the city are comprised mostly of tax schemes that favor developers.
But it’s what’s left behind that interests me.
When the rich people move out, they leave behind a path of destruction that resembles a field ravished by locusts.
Already, it’s worth noting that home foreclosures in suburban areas have continued to rise in Kansas City despite an easing of this trend on the national level. Suburban McMansions comprise a big part of those numbers. Even more telling is the rise in Kansas City suburban crime and more headlines of elaborate theft ring throughout places that once served as refuges for the middle-class.
Consider all these facts along with the inevitability that gas prices will continue to rise and we see a local model of housing emerging that mimics the habitually lazy economic climate in Europe. Put simply, suburban ghettos in Kansas City are the new hotness and a look around the Northland, Grandview, Raytown, choice parts of Lee’s Summit and even JoCo prove my assertions not only correct but prescient.