Saturday, July 5, 2014

The new symbol of Goodman hypocrisy

I recently took a stroll through the Lockhaven grounds. Hadn't been there in a while, having been displaced like most other residents, and the changes are striking. Most of the buildings are now brown and taupe, the underlying rot covered with layers of paint. Some gardens cultivated by my neighbors have been removed and replaced with the kind of hardy ground cover favored by developers who want to reduce maintenance costs. There are now fancy wooden gates over some walkways, and where once there were picnic tables and funky brick planters there's now outdoor furniture of the kind you might find at poolside at a Marriott Inn.

Among all these cosmetic renovations that seek to give Lockhaven the kind of image that Goodman hopes will attract tenants willing to pay upwards of twice the previous rents, none struck me quite as much as the bicycles on the new building number signs. Bicycles! Trendy symbol of walkable, bikeable, sustainable communities. What could be more bitterly ironic than the appropriation of this symbol by a group of men who destroy those very qualities for a living? In their quest to add to the billions they already have, John Goodman and his cohorts break the law, lie, endanger the health of their tenants, and retaliate against those who dare oppose them.

I happened to see Goodman employee and investor Josh Obendorf on my walk-though. I almost wanted to compliment him. Most of the renovations are bland and generic, but some of them look pretty nice. But we have a message for Josh and all of Goodman Real Estate: There are too many of us. Too many of us who know the truth about what you're doing, and see through the shiny surface of your gentrification efforts. We see the rot underneath, and we aren't going to stop talking about it. Most of us may be gone from Lockhaven, but we will keep fighting you. Don't mistake your shameless new bicycle signs for flags of victory.

Oh, also they're also apparently changing the name. from Lockhaven to Cadence Apartments. Maybe because this blog is one of the top results when you search "Lockhaven." Don't worry, Goodman, we'll make sure potential new tenants know all about you, no matter what you call the place.