By KERRY SMITH, EDITOR, ST. LOUIS CONSTRUCTION NEWS AND REVIEW MAGAZINE
The City of St. Louis’ Community Development Administration this month announced the launch of its Vacancy Strategy Initiative, aimed at expanding St. Louis Vacancy Collaborative’s goal to address the ongoing challenge of vacant and abandoned city properties.
Formalizing the city’s partnership and prioritizing the two-year initiative includes deploying resources to prevent an increase in vacant properties and to maintain, stabilize, beautify and reuse them.
The city currently faces more than 22,000 vacant and abandoned properties, including some 8,000 buildings and more than 14,000 lots. Of these properties, according to the CDA, approximately 10,000 of them – 1,500 buildings and 8,500 lots – are owned by the Land Reutilization Authority, the City of St. Louis’ land bank.
Longstanding public health and safety-related issues stemming from these vacancies require resources for mowing, board-ups and fires, declining property values and population loss.
Three primary goals of the Vacancy Strategy Initiative are interagency coordination, prioritization of resources and metrics, maps and cost analysis.
For more information about this initiative, see https://www.communitybuildersstl.org/.