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THIS WEEK IN WAREHOUSING: August 12, 2011
THIS WEEK IN WAREHOUSING: AUGUST 12, 2011
Vacant property is becoming a major issue in Baltimore's mayoral race. Now we need to see what we can do to make it play out that way in NYC in 2013!
Even the President's pissed off about vacant property. The White House is working on a plan to convert foreclosed homes that aren't selling into rentals. "The goal, the administration said, is to stabilize neighborhoods where large supplies of empty, foreclosed properties have hurt property values." Politicians from both major parties are wondering why the federal government is "spending billions of dollars sitting on vacant federal buildings across the country."
But not everybody's upset about buildings being empty. Business is booming for metal grifters in Delaware County, Pennsylvania.
Mow-to-own? City officials in New Philadelphia, Ohio, are urging the adoption of an innovative new law: the program "allows homeowners living next to abandoned properties made useless by zoning laws to mow the land for up to two years, until the value of their maintenance matches the parcel’s value. Then they take over ownership of the land for good."
Anderson, Indiana, has a higher rate of vacant buildings than the state does - and people are angry about it, and are blaming the mayor and demanding the city do something.
Of course realtors and insurers and lots of other corporations are taking notice of the explosion of vacant property. And unlike government, they are going to do something about it: make a lot of money, not help communities. This article from "a national underwriter resource" talks about "risk management considerations," "loss control inspections," and "best practices" when "preparing to idle a property." Because after all, "every step taken to manage vacant property risk should be considered an investment towards eventual turnaround in the CRE market."
Buffalo, NY, is proving how vacant property can be the solution to all SORTS of community problems: faced with an explosion of food trucks attracting growing crowds, restaurateurs are demanding that the city "not allow trucks to roam, instead using vacant property to establish food truck zones."
In Atlanta, landlords with vacant space on their hands have found out that it's more profitable to house data processing than people. "Computers replace people in empty buildings"... and "Atlanta’s relatively inexpensive and stable electricity supply draws power-hungry data centers to the region."
"Keep America Beautiful" will be funding vacant property reclamation in Akron, Ohio: The proposed plans "include developing a system of tracking abandoned and vacant properties in the city, creating a protocol for putting vacant lots back into productivity with citizen input by using a matrix of economic and environmental options and coming up with a uniform and efficient appearance and maintenance plan for vacant lots in the city."
AND REMEMBER: Follow #NoWarehousing on Twitter for all the latest updates, and check out the Campaign to Restore National Housing Rights to see some of the exciting work that's being done around the country to challenge warehousing and other violations of the human right to housing.