I almost posted this in the OFFS thread but decided to make a new one instead. Y'all might remember that when I lived in Connecticut, I'd sometimes post about how incredibly stupid my old city government was--trying to change from a low-income city with lots of welfare recipients into an upscale city with lots of rich (or at least upper-middle-class) taxpayers via stupid things like "condemning poor-people businesses, and turning them into vacant lots" and "converting the one luxury apartment complex in town into Section 8 housing, and evicting paying tenants to make room for Section 8ers" and similarly stupid things.
When I first moved into that neighborhood, my apartment was in easy walking distance of various businesses that were useful for people with not-much money: a discount grocery store, an old shopping mall filled with low-rent businesses, inexpensive restaurants and a Job Lot store, things like that. Then the city spent Zod-knows how much money to buy the old shopping mall, more money to buy out the business leases therein, and still more money to demolish the mall itself ... basically, what was once a bunch of taxpaying businesses has been a cracked-asphalt vacant lot and net drain on city finances for years. Almost all the businesses useful for low-income people are gone. Though there was the promise that some private developer would ride in on a white horse and build a super-nice shopping center on the site of the old shopping mall, which in turn would make scads of rich people move into town because, presumably, "Lack of upscale shopping options within city limits" is the ONLY reason people rich enough to afford better stay the hell out of downtown Bristol. (That's also why rich people haven't been moving into Detroit.)
And I see today that the city is now admitting that it cannot in good conscience "sell" the downtown property to the rich shopping mall developer, because the property has "negative value" and -- surprise! -- any attempt to turn the site into a profitable business "is not financially feasible without considerable public funding.”
http://bristolpress.com/articles/2012/1 ... 485451.txt
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