Dilapidated, abandoned, boarded up buildings have long been an unfortunate part of the Saint Louis landscape. They were the places where people lived, worked, and shopped just a few years ago for some and many years ago for others.

The City of Saint Louis has an agency, the Land Reutilization Authority (LRA), which manages more than 10,000 of these vacant and abandoned properties. The LRA has an enormous responsibility. Its actions, past and present, can play a major role in determining the future of this city. In a 2011 Show-Me Institute Policy Study called “Standstill: How City Agencies Have Hindered Development In Saint Louis While Waiting For Large-Scale Miracles,” then-policy analyst Audrey Spalding examined the actions and decisions the LRA makes that heavily affect the city of Saint Louis. The study found that the LRA was not fulfilling the responsibilities of the organization as created and defined in Missouri statute.

The LRA has the ability to increase private investment in Saint Louis neighborhoods, which can help create a better Saint Louis. But it cannot do that if it does not sell properties.

By building on the work presented in “Standstill,” this case study will provide insight into how the LRA has changed over the last couple of years and whether it has started to achieve the original goals tasked to it more than 40 years ago.

Read the case study:

See also the Show-Me Institute's previous research on land banks:


Secondary Topic:

About the Author

Haleigh Albers

Haleigh Albers