Tower Grove Neighborhoods CDC Invests in Long Vacant 4 Family to Continue Stabilization Efforts In Tower Grove South
Last month Tower Grove Neighborhoods Community Development Corporation (TGNCDC) closed on 3639-41 Hydraulic Ave. in the Tower Grove South neighborhood, south of Gravois. The building is located in our target area outlined in our framework and vision plan (https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5c3f95d19772ae3d8dc907e1/t/5c871999419202c31d076964/1552357793069/TGNCDC_FrameworkPlan_FinalReport_FINAL-APPROVED_WEB.pdf). The building was a foreclosure owned by Bank of America. Over the preceding months, the property was not properly secured and "squatters" took over all four apartments. Drug activity flourished and building maintenance issues began to escalate. Only after TGNCDC contacted the City of St. Louis, was the building secured with a board up. Bank of America, to our knowledge, manages these foreclosure properties from an out of state office and doesn't have an on the ground Community Reinvestment/Community Development position in Saint Louis. Most banks have a representative for us to contact in similar cases. Thankfully Marilyn Bush, Senior Vice President, Market Executive, communicated with us directly and helped us secure the building. The timing was good because over the past year the rear wall started to fail and water soaked the interior. Bush stated about the current status of the building, "We share your sentiments and value your partnership in keeping this neighborhood safe."
3639-41 Hydraulic Ave. is only one building on one block but even one vacant property can start the downward spiral of quality of life, safety, and general negative impression of the neighborhood by people who live there and people who are visiting. More needs to be done on the 3600 and 3700 blocks of Hydraulic and we'll continue to help it improve. As for now, clean up has started at 3639-41 Hydraulic Ave. and bids for the repairs are being solicited.