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Thread: Now that's Eminent Domain!

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Now that's Eminent Domain!

    The City of Philadelphia announced yesterday that they will be condemning around 3,000 properties (vacant lots, blighted houses, etc.) to be resold to developers for infill development.

    They claim they have developers for most of the lots already.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
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    I suspect many of these will go to non-profit housing organizations. Good for them. I like to see a city getting aggressive. I just hope it is well planned.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    Excellent! Milwaukee did something similar (not sure about the # of lots) a few years ago, and heralded it as "City Homes".

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Story's on Planetizen

  5. #5
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    The article says that 14,000 buildings will be torn down and replaced. 14,000 more will be torn down and will remain vacant. Only 2,500 buildings will be renovated since it costs too much. There is only one other builder besides the city who is interested in any of the parcels. The parcel is just north of Girard on the new Girard LRT next to Fairmount park, and gentrified near center city neighborhoods. I've seen some of the new housing south of the new strip malls on Girard Ave west of the elevated septa commuter tracks. Philly is following Detroit's strategy of constructing low density auto oriented housing and vacant lots in it's inner core. They did create an alien suburban dead end street, no retail community of metal fences. The income requirements for someone to move into this housing, minimum income $41,000, means that these residences 5 minutes from center city are not for the previous residents. I admit some of the land had been vacant for decades.
    In Philly demolishing buildings, occupied or not, has gone on for many decades. When local authorities throw away the old homes and neighborhoods and put in the cookie cutters, people in the neighborhoods find it less worthwhile to paint and maintain , let alone renovate their properties. "The block next to ours is being torn down, they'll probably want this block next". People aren't stupid, they know that it costs more to renovate than demolish. The governmet wants to assemble large cheap tracts. This means the church, the beautiful rowhouses, everything must go. Politicians do not help when they tell citizens that their neighborhood is an anachronism. You need a 2002 suburban house with plenty of offstreet parking in front. Citizens must wonder why private firms are rehabilitating Philadelphia rowhouses. The wealthiest homes in Philly are in these districts of historic homes that the Philly planners would have surely destroyed if they'd had a chance.
    I lived in Philly for 6 years and it is still a beautiful city, but it's planners and mayors have tried to make it into suburbia. What has the city built? Many projects which they are now tearing down, and middle income neighborhoods for sought after places, like near Temple university and in place of the Washington ave projects near Society Hill. Segregating people by income and race seems to be another great government idea. And let's not have any stores, churches or non residential uses in the neighborhood, or people might try to walk somewhere.

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