According to Jacob Kirn of St. Louis Business Journal – Jack Dorsey, Square co-founder and Twitter CEO, and businessman Bill Pulte on Friday announced an effort to create a “St. Louis Blight Authority,” modeled after a Detroit-area nonprofit.
It will partner with the city of St. Louis to target 130 lots between Cote Brilliante, Maffitt, Clara, and Belt avenues, in the Wells-Goodfellow neighborhood. The authority will look to demolish 18 buildings, while the city will handle 12 demolitions in the area. Other lots will be cleared and seeded “for neighbors to enjoy or acquire,” a press release from Mayor Lyda Krewson said.
The release didn’t say how much the authority would spend on the effort.
Pulte, the founder of investment firm Pulte Capital, said in the release that blight from the four city blocks would be removed in three days. He added that “with the proper support from the private sector and leadership in government, St. Louis can be a blight-free city by 2035.”
Dorsey, who’s from St. Louis, said the 59 families who live in the zone will “now live in a safer and more beautiful neighborhood.”
Krewson, who’s identified vacancy as a major priority and pushed to allocate more tax money for demolition, said the authority would add to efforts from the Regional Business Council and Better Family Life.
Her administration said St. Louis has more than 7,000 vacant buildings. According to a Detroit Metro Times report from November, that city says it has 22,000 abandoned houses.