Suffocating Neighborhoods, Parcel by Parcel
We hear it all the time, that the growth of government stifles innovation and crowds out individual agency. One rarely sees this concept writ so large and discernibly upon the landscape, however, as when encountering abandoned, publicly owned properties.
Consider 4634 Cottage Ave., pictured below in August 2010. Until 1999, it was in private ownership following its construction in 1906. A sign reading “Private Property NO TRESPASSING” hangs ironically on one of the building’s boarded door openings, a vestige of the structure’s past life as an income-producing property.
Today, the multi-family dwelling is in a perpetual state of decay because of its status a property owned by the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA).
Private owners in a free market have vastly different incentives than do government agencies to ensure the health and vibrancy of assets under their control.
This month’s meeting of the LRA Commission will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 27, at 8:30 a.m. in the board room of St. Louis Development Corporation, on the 12th floor of 1015 Locust St. in downtown St. Louis.