In an interview published in today's Spectator, The Downtown BIA's Gerry Murphy and Kathy Drewitt are right on in their characterization of why downtown revitalization is moving so slowly. When asked if part of the problem involves "landlords of derelict buildings [who] won't sell, but won't do anything to improve their buildings," they respond:
I think they are. It's probably many of those holding on to properties and sitting on them are the limited numbered companies you can't get a hold of. Whenever they are approached to see if they are interested in selling, they are not, so why are they sitting on them? Why don't they fix them up?
(The properties should face) expropriation. The city needs to take a leadership role in fixing those buildings up.
Or (if that's too strong), encouraging those landlords to refurbish their buildings and not providing them with the current 30 per cent (property tax) discount for being vacant.
I guess you need a task force of economic thinkers who live and work here who can make suggestions to the city on how to get it moving.
Related: City blocking improvements: BIA.
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