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Beloved Views

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NIMBYism is almost entirely fueled by a project's presumed negative impact on property values. The antagonizer can be manifested as social housing, sun and view-blocking high-rises, a noise-producing venue, or any street-clogging, traffic-producing entity. Often these sorts of projects are "out of character" with the neighborhood. Then there's the case of perfectly in-scale developments that threaten the prized views of top-dollar condo dwellers. Perfect example: how the planned Wolf Point tower trio is riling the residents of RiverBend. We chirped a little on the subject last week, but now Crain's has set out to calculate the dollar value on a view. RiverBend has east, south, and north-facing condos, with 13 on the market ranging from $375K to $2.2M. So far, the prospect of mangled views hasn't affected much. But there's solid evidence from elsewhere that unobstructed lake, park, and skyline views make for dramatically pricier real estate. Views in other directions command far less, no matter how glorious they may be. Also, in the case of Wolf Point, much will depend on how the structures look and how they're oriented. For the moment, brokers are playing it cool: "Depending on where the building goes up, values will decrease, but not for everyone in the building," says Michael Rosenblum, a broker representing a 16th floor RiverBend unit. [Crain's by subscription, previously]