I'm reading the PD article today on a case you're working on for NPI. As one who has had first-hand experience with the depredations of the lenders and their various incarnations, I want to stress that further ruination of the neighborhoods, by way of demolition of distressed properties, is not something that restores the values already stripped away. Repair and restoration is a form of restitution. Demolition is merely a further reduction of collective equity.
There are many solutions here that are more economical than demolition, more productive for neighborhoods, more profitable for those who will work and invest cash.
Some of Jim Rokakis’ land bank ideas might come into play here, with transferring of lots with buildings on them, intact.
To encourage demolition would leave NPI open to the same charges as the banks--i.e., they've worked to reduce our values still further, and are subject to paying for the recovery of needlessly wasted assets.
The option of demolition must be taken off the table.
It's a huge issue you're taking on here, and I commend all of you. It can reach some very wise solutions, given an open community dialogue.
4022 Denison Avenue
Cleveland, OH 44109 USA