Tag Archives: slum

Chris Collins and His Excellent East Side Adventure

12 Dec

Remember this story?

The Answer Lady reminds us that about a decade ago, Chris Collins invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to go into business with a Tom Steube, who was already no stranger to housing court. When Steube went bankrupt in 1998, he left several buildings unfinished, and as I noted in late 2007,

When the debt went bad, Collins had two choices:

1. Write the debt off, take a tax break, and basically let the ownerless, moneyless, interestless properties deteriorate until such time as they become a public nuisance slotted for publicly financed demolition; or

2. Foreclose on the debt and make an effort to re-sell the property by making the bare minimum in improvements needed to bring it up to habitable condition.

Of course, Collins opted for number one, and the city spent tens of thousands to demolish some of the worst offenders. Other still stand. Boarded up. Blighted.

Yet Collins vetoed money that the county legislature allocated for the Distressed Real Property Reserve Fund, which would help the county deal with blight.

When your point of view is all about dollars and cents, rather than people and sense, this is what you get.