Tacoma Action Figure: Derek Young Professional Award Recipient

Pump Pump Pump that Area. Don't Give in to the Hysteria
posted May 4, 2010
THE TACOMIC - Tacoma Action Figure: Derek Young Professional Award Recipient (exit133, Derek Young, gig harbor, tacoma, seasonal view, downtown leader, blogger, tacomic)
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You might think the real Derek Young a benevolent force with all the awards, university speaking gigs, bike riding and juggling, but the idea for this cartoon came to me after reading this blustery comment from Crenshaw Sepulveda (Tacoma's most unpleasant commenter):

"My best laugh in a long time comes from Derek Young who wrote on 25.April.2007 regarding this project: Metropolitan Red is planning apartments, inexpensive condos, and another downtown grocery store for the site. Two grocery stores in downtown Tacoma within the next few years" plus a third hiding in the wings. It's becoming a neighborhood. Buy now!

From a few months before that Derek gave me another laugh: That hillside on the south side of downtown is going to be a completely different place in a few years. Check it out. Or invest now. god, how I miss he heady days when Exit133 had their fancy condo map where all the condos, rumored condos, and any other condo related location was mentioned. Of course, back then Exit133 was about "about Real Estate, Politics, the Arts, Urban Development, and the interests of our readers." I wonder if Derek has any remorse for flogging these worthless condo projects." - crenshaw sepulveda

The guilt must have gotten to our friend Derek because in an uncharacteristic moment of candor he confesses to his twitter audience: "Humor and E133 don't mix. I am, after all, personally responsible for the economic collapse of Tacoma."
Yet, condos are still obviously a sensitive topic round How else do you explain the banishment of this perverse-and-often-baffling exit133 condo article to the electric backwaters of feedtacoma?  It has got to mean something by gum!
derek tshirts


by NineInchNachos on 5/4/2010 @ 12:25am
son of a bitch. I wrote a whole long description paragraph, but then when I saved without first choosing an image to upload I lost the whole god damn thing. I'm going to bed in protest and cursing the gods.

by marumaruyopparai on 5/4/2010 @ 12:49am
Dig Dug!

Dig Dug!

by KevinFreitas on 5/4/2010 @ 6:42am
@RR -- Eesh, I'm sorry. That shouldn't happen. I'll make sure that sort of thing is retained in the forms at least so you don't lose it. :(

by Jesse on 5/4/2010 @ 8:45am
The condo market... it's Dereks fault!!! lol.

by NineInchNachos on 5/4/2010 @ 9:15am
i'll write up a new description paragraph tonight. lots of funny links to share.

by fredo on 5/4/2010 @ 9:50am
Say, city leaders, how's that condominium property tax abatement thing working out?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 5/4/2010 @ 9:54am
yeah, fredo, what a disaster that was. Well at least the developers put some of that money in their pockets. The poor sucker tax payers of Tacoma will get to pick up the slack.

by L.S.Erhardt on 5/4/2010 @ 10:08am
I propose a new "Half/Never built ratio". The HNBR is simple to calculate. Figure out the total number of condo projects started since 2000, figure out the number that are partially complete and the number of those that are still holes in the ground. Divide (H+N)/T to get your ratio.

We can then use this metric to compare cities.

Compare for what purpose? Simple: to find the cities with a worse ratio than you and use that as an advertising gimmick.

"Tacoma... only 3 condo projects didn't get finished. Way better than Austin"

by Erik on 5/4/2010 @ 11:32am
Hey, Tacoma needs as much pumping up as it can get in every category from condos, cartoons, arts and coffee shops.

Although it fell short, the extra condos and apartments (and condos that essentially became apartments) built in Tacoma added some much needed density and life to many areas of the city.

No area is as much changed and improved as Broadway downtown and the Stadium District.

Just a few years ago, Broadway was a sketchy, dysfunctional blighted area. Although there are still a number of vacant lots on it and empty buildings, it has improved significantly.

The extra people are making places like The Hub possible and soon the Harmon Tap Room.

As far as pumping up goes, "If you don't toot your own horn, there is no music."

by The Other Derek Young on 5/4/2010 @ 12:25pm
I'll have you know I'm more than an alternate head/detachable Kung Fu Action Grip.

Also, my name is supposed to say The Other Derek Young. Not Derek Yo. Insult to injury.

PS I do like the Condominium Action Playset.

by NineInchNachos on 5/4/2010 @ 1:02pm
Just wait till you see my new double derek t-shirt design

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 5/4/2010 @ 1:49pm
Would that t-shirt be sort of a Zaphod Beeblebrox design?

by DavidKoch on 5/4/2010 @ 4:46pm
Kevin, when I save a blog draft, all my "it's", "they're", etc turn into "it/s", "they/re", etc. Also, all the pictures I put in disappear too. It's hard having time to do a blog in one go so I hope you can fix it!!

by Altered Chords on 5/4/2010 @ 5:02pm
I agree w/ Eric B. The city has come a long way. We just have condo oversupply now. We in telecom have had oversupply for years now (dark fiber) The condo's will get filled. If you think a few years is an eternity don't worry, it'll be here before you know it.

That being said, I loved this tacomic.

I also loved Thorax' introduction of a new mathematical formula. I'll bet you Harvard has already latched on to it and every B school is using the HNB ratio or HNBR for short.

by L.S.Erhardt on 5/4/2010 @ 5:56pm
Let's expand on the HNB ratio, shall we? Let's also include "A", which is the number of condo projects converted into apartments. So now we have (H+N+A+B)/T as the formula for our ratio: the HNAB Ratio

I say it can be used as a means of calculating a city's level of over-development. You see, regardless of the economy, there is always a demand for housing.
As we've learned, condos are a niche market. They really aren't for everyone.
So, let's take into consideration demand and note that in a market that needs the condos, they are likely to have been completed, as the pre-sales would have been sufficient to guarantee financing.

So a city that is very over-built is likely to have a high HNAB, whereas a city that's sufficiently or underdeveloped will have an HNAB of zero. So likely a city north of a .15 HNAB score is over developed

Let's use some numbers I pulled outta my hat.

Arbitrarily, T-Town has 100 condo projects since 2000. 3 are half-built, 3 are never-built and 10 have been converted. That's 16/100, giving us a HNAB of .16

Now, arbitrarily, Bellevue had 150 condo projects. Of them, 4 were half-built, 9 were never started and 14 have been converted to apartments. Thus we have 27/150 giving us a HNAB of .18

Thus you can use that ratio to see that Bellevue is more over-developed than Tacoma and that both cities are over-developed to begin with.

Now here's where the project gets interesting: figuring out the actual HNAB ratios

by KevinFreitas on 5/4/2010 @ 8:21pm
@TheODY: Fixed!

by Erik on 5/4/2010 @ 9:16pm
The condo's will get filled.

Yes. Many old buildings which were renovated and "coverted" to condo never sold as condos so they were leased out essentially making them apartments again.

At the very least, there were a lot of renovations which extended the life of a great many historical buildings.

Even the Esplanade at 1515 Dock Street is being filled.

by NineInchNachos on 5/4/2010 @ 9:58pm
description paragraph and links added for your memory hole enjoyment. Be sure to show your exit133 pride by purchasing one of these fine t-shirts before they are replaced with the new design forever!

by captiveyak on 5/4/2010 @ 10:05pm
Condos condos condos. Really, what we're talking about here is folks with no kids who can't tell sophistication from consumerism, right? I am 17 and have already figured that out. All you grownups with your "money" and stuff! Lamewads. Go sit in a ghetto for a couple days with a guitar, some free trade coffee and a copy of Notes From the Underground - then tell me if your vaguely credible architecture foofery is really worth the fuss.

Accept the inevitable. Cut to the chase: turn every available space in tacoma into a fratty brewpub with a nostalgic decor and patina.

by NineInchNachos on 5/4/2010 @ 10:17pm
I think there is a condo across from the corina bakery with a giant copper curtain and maybe fish tacked to the side?

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 5/4/2010 @ 10:27pm
Thanks, Mr. Nachos, for bringing back the old condos map of exit133. That same map can now be reproduced by real estate agents so their clients can look for foreclosures.

by L.S.Erhardt on 5/4/2010 @ 10:38pm
I agree that condos are a waste of $$$ for most people. But how one spends their $ is their business. If you want a condo, do go and buy one.

Being only 17 you apparently don't understand what "money" is.
Money is a symbolic medium that represents TRUST, RESPECT and YOUR PRODUCTIVITY.
You see, there are only two ways to get money: to earn it and to loot it. Productive work of your mind or your muscles is earning it. The money you earn is your reward, a symbol of the work of your brain, your creative output. It's your reward for the strain of your muscles and the efforts of your labor.
To loot it is to take money by force, coercion or any involuntary means. This includes both robbers and government. They only take without producing. It's a sided equation.
Now, I'm not arguing against having government, but excessive taxation and excessive regulation are the tools of stealing someone else's productivity.

The other key components to money are trust and respect. If you do not have these, you cannot have a monetary system. When you engage in business with a company/individual, you both have to trust that each other are giving what they claim to offer. Each side has to mutually respect that their productivity is worth something. The money you pay for a gallon of milk is a show of respect for the productivity of the dairy farmer. Just like the paycheck you earn is a show of respect from your employer for the productivity you provide them.

THAT is why money is such a big deal. Money is a liquid form of YOUR productivity. Your money is YOURS and you can do with it as you see fit. I am not pro-consumerism, as the modern-day American interpretation of that requires stealing from the productivity of other nations and the future generations. What I am is pro-business and pro-productivity.
Think about this: The apparent prosperity beginning in the 80s, in the 90s and in the 00s and the bailout money to "fix" the problems was stolen from the productivity of the next two or three generations. Teradollar debts both here and around the globe have to be paid somehow, and ultimately our kids and grandkids will have a lower quality of life in a more trashed world than we inherited. That is a crime for which the unborn victims will never be able to know justice.

Now, no system is perfect and things get abused. Wall Street bankers loot from us, there are those who cheat to get more, there are those who buy senators, presidents and congressmen as though they were candy. This is a serious issue as it erodes the trust and respect components. After all, who trusts and respects a looter who stole someone else's productivity?

You see, that is what "money" is, and what it actually represents. And until you grow up enough to actually understand it, you're accessory to the looters.

by Erik on 5/4/2010 @ 10:58pm
Impressive blog comment Thorax. Impressive indeed!

The money you pay for a gallon of milk is a show of respect for the productivity of the dairy farmer. Just like the paycheck you earn is a show of respect from your employer for the productivity you provide them.

Yes, and that must be why RR's Tacomics sell like hot cakes and other art in Tacoma languishes.

by NineInchNachos on 5/5/2010 @ 7:52am
according to the noble experiment called the helm gallery the secret of selling art to people from Tacoma is, art needs to somehow be connected to Tacoma (teapot house anyone?) and be priced at about $200 bucks.

* * *

FUN FACT: I once sold a drawing for $300+ dollars to friends from

by The Jinxmedic on 5/5/2010 @ 8:03am
My Ink-on-paper O&J originals sell at low scale, which strangely enough, is right about at that $200.00 level...

by Mofo from the Hood on 5/5/2010 @ 8:06am
This week I'm offering to hand sign computer print-outs of my E133 blog comments about Tacoma condos---Only $400.00.

Bonus Gift Idea for friends from FeedTacoma---Buy 1 get 1 Free.

by TacomanTime on 5/5/2010 @ 6:27pm
"Even the Esplanade at 1515 Dock Street is being filled."

Wow. The condos must really be selling again then. I did see a sign hanging on the building announcing they were for sale. Unfortunately, the building didn't look any fuller yet. I do think those are some of the most overpriced units from the boom.

Anyone wanting to place bets on when the last unlived in unit will finally be lived in, even if rented? I'd say it'll be 5 years.

(btw: Anyone want to pick up the domain name while they can? It appears to have expired a couple of weeks ago: )

(btw2: Could the April, 2007 quote have been far off from the absolute peak?)

by Jake on 5/5/2010 @ 7:53pm
The Esplanade has a new website:

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 5/6/2010 @ 12:33am
At the new website they talk about the "Esplanade Lifestyle" . I'm wondering exactly what the "Esplanade Lifestyle" is. Can they demonstrate that people are living it in significant numbers to actually establish such a lifestyle? It would be ironic to be living on the water one year and then having a mortgage underwater the next.

by L.S.Erhardt on 5/6/2010 @ 1:01am
Still are few lights on in that big building @ 5:00 AM.

Personally, I feel that the $195K starting price (though lower than the original $330K) is still too high for what's offered. Especially when you can find a 4 bed house for under $150K.

Based on the current amenities in downtown, I think a starting price of $150K is more reasonable. With stricter standards, banks are returning to the "no more than 4x your income" metric. Thus, you're bringing people into downtown who make at least $37,500 annually. That's middle class and a lot more common than $48,750. You are going to have a larger pool of buyers at $37.5K than $48.75K. It is also higher than the current $26K average income in downtown.

I think we need to focus on getting middle-class people into downtown. People attract amenities, more amenities attract people, as desire goes up, so do prices. And then the sought-after wealthy and yuppies start creeping in.

Let's be honest about that. The wealthy don't like to live next to the very poor.
But the upper-middle class usually are OK living close to the [middle] Middle Class. And the wealthy are usually OK living close to the upper-middle class.
If you want high-end condos, get some middle-class ones first. Then you can get your yuppie towers. Increments, people.

by Erik on 5/6/2010 @ 1:09am
Thanks for the link Jake. According to the website, 21 units have been sold to date.

by Crenshaw Sepulveda on 5/6/2010 @ 1:55am
I remember when the Mecca had indicated most of their units were sold. How many did they actually end up selling? Less than one is what I seem to recall.

by fredo on 5/6/2010 @ 7:11am
"I remember when the Mecca had indicated most of their units were sold. How many did they actually end up selling? Less than one is what I seem to recall." Crenshaw

In the adult film industry it's called "fluffing."

by NineInchNachos on 5/12/2010 @ 11:30am
exit 133 turns 5 years old today. that's 35 in blog years.


by NineInchNachos on 8/29/2011 @ 2:53pm
dun dun duuuh !!/DerekYoung/status/1082890...

Looks like that professional mean-person LOWBAR has won.

by KevinFreitas on 8/29/2011 @ 4:49pm
Not a joke this time? Hmm, guess we're no where near April 1st. Oh well, FeedTacoma is still hopping and about to get it's new design and other bits!