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LRA

A vacant lot on Finney Avenue photographed on October 8, 2019. The Neighborhood Lot Maintenance pilot program aims to chip away at the issue of overgrown city-owned vacant land by hiring private contractors to maintain the land.
Shahla Farzan | St. Louis Public Radio

Thaddeus Gerdine maintains more than 60 vacant lots in the city of St. Louis. 

“They just seemed like no one was taking care of them,” said Gerdine, who keeps the grass trimmed and picks up trash.

His construction company, Triple T, is one of five small businesses participating in a city-run pilot program that pays private crews to maintain vacant lots. The program, which is wrapping up its first season, focuses on neighborhoods with the highest concentrations of vacant land. 

This north St. Louis house has been owned by the Land Reutilization Authority for more than five years, and can be purchased for $1. Feb. 6, 2019.
Kae Petrin | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis has launched a pilot program to sell some 500 city-owned homes for just $1 a pop.

But that low cost comes with strings attached. Purchasers will have to invest in extensive renovations before they can move in to the homes, which have sat vacant for at least five years.

Here’s what you need to know about how to buy those homes, where they are located and what it takes to rehabilitate a property that has spent years deteriorating.

Legal Services of Eastern Missouri will provide pro bono legal support to residents and neighborhood associations in Hyde Park, the West End, Old North St. Louis and Academy. The grant money will prevent residents and land owners from displacement.
File Photo | Marie Schwarz | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis homebuyers will soon be able to purchase some city-owned properties at a deep discount.

The going rate? One dollar.

Beginning this month, the Land Reutilization Authority will sell certain residential properties in the city’s land bank through the “Dollar House” pilot program. It’s part of an effort to reduce the number of vacant, city-owned properties and revitalize fading neighborhoods.

File Photo | Parth Shah | St. Louis Public Radio

The City of St. Louis plans to knock down nearly three times as many vacant buildings this fiscal year than it did the year before.

It's part of an effort pushed by Mayor Lyda Krewson to lower the number of vacant properties by dedicating more money to demolitions and using data to identify properties that most urgently need to come down.

"When we’re developing strategies to tackle vacancy, we need good data as a base to guide those decisions," says Laura Ginn (right), who has helped develop a data-rich website on vacant property in St. Louis.
Melody Walker | St. Louis Public Radio

For the record, St. Louis is home to 20,187 vacant properties. More than half are vacant lots, totaling 1,565 acres. Over the past five years, it has cost the city more than $17 million to maintain the vacant property with services like mowing, removing dumped waste, and boarding up abandoned structures.

The total assessed value of all that property? $79,813,010.

Alderwoman Pamela Boyd, D-27th Ward, August 2017
Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

On the latest episode of Politically Speaking, St. Louis Public Radio’s Jason Rosenbaum and Jo Mannies welcome St. Louis Alderwoman Pamela Boyd to the show for the first time.

A guest takes photos of the start of the funeral procession for rock 'n' roll legend Chuck Berry. (April 9, 2017)
File photo | Carolina Hidalgo | St. Louis Public Radio

Nearly two months after guitarist Chuck Berry died, St. Louis is seeking proposals to develop a museum and cultural district in Berry’s former neighborhood.

 

The Land Clearance for Redevelopment Authority announced Monday it wants private developers to rebuild Berry’s home in the The Greater Ville neighborhood in north St. Louis. 

Vacant buildings owned by the Land Reutilization Authority in the 4000 block of Evans Avenue. February 2017.
File photo | Marie Schwarz | St. Louis Public Radio

St. Louis’ Land Reutilization Authority has nearly 12,000 parcels of vacant land and buildings and just eight and half employees.

That’s far below the ratio of employees to property in other cities, according to a year-long assessment of the LRA released on Thursday. Urban planning firm Asakura Robinson, which conducted the yearlong study, recommends the agency hire four more employees in the next one to three years.

(Maria Altman, St. Louis Public Radio)

The Land Reutilization Authority owns more than 11,000 parcels in the city of St. Louis.

It’s a land mass roughly the size of Forest Park.

St. Louis has the distinction of having the oldest land bank in the country, created by a Missouri state statute in 1971. It was a response to St. Louis’ quickly shrinking population after reaching a height of 856,000 people in 1950.