More Like This. . .Please?
The Carter Carburetor building has sat dilapidated for numerous years and is a blight for the city of Saint Louis. Just a few decades ago, the Carter Carburetor Corporation was a major employer in the Saint Louis area. Today, the 4-story main building sits empty after Carter Building Inc. (CBI) donated the property to the Saint Louis Land Reutilization Authority (LRA). The LRA’s job is to return property to private use. Unfortunately, the agency has not always accomplished that.
Given the building’s current state, it is exciting that the LRA has found a positive future for the property. The owners of CBI donated the property to the LRA with the understanding that once the current environmental clean-up is complete, the land will be given to the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club.
The LRA is not responsible for the site’s clean-up, but it is responsible for what happens to the property after that. While the president of the Boys and Girls Club, Flint Fowler, said he looks forward to the Club’s expansion, some locals are wary of the property’s future. Loletta Zasaretii, a resident of the neighborhood, said she would rather see jobs created on the property instead of “just another ball field.” Although many share Zasaretti’s desire for more jobs in North Saint Louis, the LRA is making the right decision because it is not holding onto the property.
The LRA may not be solving all of the neighborhood’s problems by handing the property over to the Herbert Hoover Boys and Girls Club, a non-profit, tax–exempt organization. But it is definitely moving in the right direction toward improving Saint Louis. Along with making the property more attractive and safer, the Boys and Girls Club — rather than the city — would be responsible for the land’s upkeep. Most importantly, the LRA deserves credit for getting the property off the city’s balance sheet and back into private ownership and productive use. Why can’t the LRA do this same thing with the thousands of other properties it owns?