So what does work? or should I say what is working? Well Knox Hill is developing a good track record in a relatively short time. These strategies will work in any area and a block by block based not some "grand plan' the city would come up with and it basically involved not reaching for the bulldozer AND lobbying when the city wants to resort to it.
|Some paint and pride go a long way to turnaround and is the first step to setting a standard|
Step two is determining Assets and Liabilities: In our case neighborhood assets included, Proximity to downtown, Hillside views, no through traffic, quality affordable architecture, historic background. Liabilities were low owner occupancy rates, Vacant housing and bad city policies and perception the neighborhood was not worth saving.
Step three is establishing Goals and Strategy: We decided to identify existing owner occupants who were vested in the neighborhood. We also identifies some 'first steps' to build credibility. Those included media, and agressive public relations campaign to promote the Knox Hill Brand. We publically took on problems like the VBML and when a Motorcycle gang, planed on moving into the area in a condemned building we took them on publically and (with cooperation from cthe city) were able to run them out of the neighborhood. We gave neighbors security cameras for their front porches. We cut the vacant lots the city left behind and were not maintaining, We stood in front of known drug dealers with cameras and every car coming and going had its picture taken. The drug dealers left. Crime has declined. We then went after absentee property owners, threatening receivership but giving them an olive branch we had people looking to buy. Most took that offer. Look at the target area block map to see the difference.
|The neighborhood was a sea of RED in 2008 thanks to Foreclosures and city inspections.|
|The Red is disappearing as homes turn to owner occupied or are in preservation hands|