Headlines: The latest on vacant, abandoned, and problem properties – July 31, 2015

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This is our twice-monthly round-up of news stories covering challenges related to vacant, abandoned, and problem properties — and how communities are transforming these properties into assets. (The headlines are for informational purposes only; inclusion does not indicate endorsement.) If you’d like to get this round-up in your inbox, join our email list!

Corn Hill Landing in Rochester, New York (Credit: Jen Leonard for Center for Community Progress,  2014)

Corn Hill Landing in Rochester, New York (Credit: Jen Leonard for Center for Community Progress, 2014)


The old suburban office park is the new American ghost town“A single orange traffic cone sits in the revolving door that no longer revolves, at the front of an office building that’s no longer an office building.” Dan Zak | Washington Post | July 20, 2015

Will new housing rules really reduce racial segregation?“Activists concerned about housing discrimination have won two major victories in recent weeks. Whether this will do much to ease residential segregation, however, remains to be seen.” Alan Greenblatt | Governing | July 16, 2015


Deal for large-scale demolitions in the works“The proposed five-year demolition offensive is envisioned by its supporters as the first stage of activity if City Council members next month approve converting the nonprofit Evansville Brownfields Corp. into a land bank.” Thomas Langhorne | Courier Press | July 25, 2015


Peck Produce aims to sell 20,000 pounds of vegetables from its urban farm“Peck Produce is growing a lot of vegetables this year. So much that the urban farm expects to sell 20,000 pounds of produce after everything is harvested this growing season.” Jon Zemke | Model D Media | July 21, 2015

Before and after: How volunteers transformed 100 blocks of Detroit“More than 30,000 volunteers and residents came together last week for a three-day, blight removal project that spanned 100 blocks.” Maria Esquinca | Crain’s Detroit | July 21, 2015

Revitalising Detroit, a dish at a time“One of the most visible signs of the city’s comeback is the number of new restaurants popping up in old buildings: nurturing Detroiters with both farm-to-table food and the refurbishment of beloved, previously vacant, spaces.” Jennifer Conlin | The Spaces | July 13, 2015

New Jersey

Zombie foreclosures: Why it’s a problem and what one N.J. county is doing about it“New Jersey has the highest rate of foreclosures — and zombie foreclosures — in the nation.” Matt Gray | NJ.com | July 27, 2015


Air Force Reserve joins Youngstown blight fight
“It’s a first of it’s kind partnership that’s tearing down blight in the city of Youngstown.” Glenn Stevens | WFMJ | July 23, 2015


Northwest Philly residents hear about reaping opportunity from vacant lots
“Community gardens are beneficial in so many ways. They build a since of unity, are visually pleasing, promote healthy living and teach people a new skill of growing produce.” Emily Brooks | NewsWorks | July 24, 2015

Land bank lien deal allows Monsour Hospital demolition plan to move forward
“‘I am pleased that, through a team effort, this eyesore and dangerous … nuisance is one step closer to coming down and going back on the tax rolls,’ Commissioner Charles Anderson said.”
Rich Cholodofsky | Trib LIVE | July 20, 2015

And, Lastly, a Blight Bright Spot!

Vacant land in Detroit, MI (Credit: Luke Telander for Community Progress)

 Editorial: Rebuilding a Detroit neighborhood, with faith and vines
“In addition to the house flipping, Trapp has plans to purchase 10 vacant lots at the corner of Van Dyke and Canfield to turn them into a vineyard.”
Ingrid Jacques |The Detroit News | July 27, 2015