23 August 2008

5 Cities React Against Vacanct Structures

Cleveland, Buffalo, Carbondale, Flagstaff, Los Angeles:

According to federal data, almost $1.6 billion in subprime loans were originated in 2005 in Cuyahoga County, where Cleveland is located. As rates rose, homeowners couldn’t pay, and foreclosures were common. More than 15,000 foreclosures were filed in the county last year.

To mitigate the effects, the city demolished about 800 houses last year, with a goal of 1,000 more in 2008. That will create about 120 acres of vacant land, but mostly in small parcels dispersed throughout the city that aren’t conducive for reuse by developers.

The redevelopment of these properties will be coordinated by the Connecting Cleveland 2020 Citywide Plan, which outlines the strategic building of strong, vibrant, and diverse neighborhoods. On the industrial side, the city created an Industrial-Commercial Land Bank in 2005 to entice developers to redevelop the vast number of abandoned properties for a variety of uses.

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