Academic journal article Southeastern Geographer

Gentrification in the Revanchist Suburb: The Politics of Removal in Roswell, Georgia

Academic journal article Southeastern Geographer

Gentrification in the Revanchist Suburb: The Politics of Removal in Roswell, Georgia

Article excerpt

Since the housing crisis of2007-2009, suburban governments around Metropolitan Atlanta have increasingly partnered with real estate developers in attempts to revitalize disinvested suburban spaces. Many of these developments target working-class nonwhite communities located within municipalities predominated by affluent white homeowners, displacing some of the area's most politically and socially marginalized residents. Examining the political processes surrounding one such project in Roswell, Georgia, we argue that in the wake of the Great Recession, it is likely that historically white, affluent, and reactionary suburbs confronted with changing socioeconomic and racial/ethnic landscapes will employ a revanchist politics to "take back" prime suburban spaces. Moreover, we argue that (sub) urban entrepreneurialism and New Urbanism are complementary and are fully compatible with revanchist (sub)urbanism. Rather than a progressive reversal of conventional suburban development, our analysis exposes this case of New Urbanism as the newest manifestation in a long-standing reactionary political project characteristic of this region.

Desde la crisis inmobiliaria de 2007-2009, los gobiernos de toda la suburbana metropolitana de Atlanta se han asociado cada vez mas con los desarrolladores de bienes raices en los intentos de revitalizar espacios suburbanos desinvertido. Muchos de estos desarrollos se dirigen a las comunidades no blancas de close trabajadora ubicados dentro de los municipios predominado por los propietarios blancos ricos, desplazando a algunos de los residentes mas politico y socialmente marginadas de la zona. Examinamos los procesos politicos que rodean uno de esos proyectos en Roswell, Georgia, sostenemos que a raiz de la gran recesion, es probable que los suburbios historicamente blancos, ricos y reaccionarios que se enfrentan a cambios de paisajes socioeconomicos y raciales/etnicos emplearan una politico revanchistas para "recuperar" espacios suburbanos primos. Por otra parte, nos argumentamos que (sub) emprendedurismo urbano y Nuevo Urbanismo se complementan y son totalmente compatibles con revanchista (sub) urbanismo. En lugar de una inversion progresiva del desarrollo suburbano convencional, nuestro analisis expone este caso del Nuevo Urbanismo como la manifestation mas reciente de un largo trayecto politico reaccionario caracteristica de esta region.

KEY WORDS: Revanchism, gentrification, urban entrepreneurialism, New Urbanism, suburbs

PALABRAS CLAVE: revanchismo, gentrificacion, urbana emprendedurismo, Nuevo Urbanismo, suburbios

INTRODUCTION

"Down Goes Frazier" (1)

In March 2013, Kelli Quintanilla, a resident at the Frazier Street apartment complex in Roswell, Georgia, an affluent suburb north of Atlanta, went to re-sign her lease for another year only to find out that the office was not accepting any new lease applications (CBS 46 2013). What Ms. Quintanilla and most of the other Frazier Street tenants did not know was that the apartment's owner, Roswell Commons Group, had sold the property two months earlier to Lennar Multifamily Investors, a subsidiary of the Miami-based Fortune 500 homebuilder, Lennar Corporation. The $8 million deal granted the property to Lennar, who, still needing the final approval from Roswell's city council, had plans to raze the low-rent 152-unit Frazier Street apartments to make way for a 318-unit luxury development, eventually to be named, "Roswell City Walk" (RCW). While the old apartments had monthly rents listed between $584 and $719 (Search-for-apartments.net 2014), the monthly rents for the new complex are between $1,145 and $2,185 (forrent.com 2015). Moreover, Lennar's Southeast Division President, Chris Cassidy, stated that Lennar would not be designating any units for affordable housing clients, all but guaranteeing that no Frazier Street residents would be welcome in RCW (Hurd 2013).

This move would be devastating for the working-class families that lived at Frazier Street, about ninety percent of whom were Hispanic or Latino. …

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