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I was in that very part of Raleigh today delivering food to people there for the Raleigh Rescue Mission. I even recognize the houses in nearly every picture.

You don't have to worry about being robbed there. Crime isn't the problem there, poverty is (often the two go hand in hand, but not really in Southeast Raleigh). I've seen the inside of many of those homes when delivering the food and it's horrible. The conditions people are living in are unbelievable... and just, well, horrible. If you think the outside is bad you won't believe the inside. Often I've never had a problem there and I deliver food every Thanksgiving.

Edited by RaleighLover
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  • 1 month later...

I grouped a bunch of posts into this topic for SE Raleigh last week, so I thought I'd post a few pics from my New Years Eve bike ride:

The Chavis Heights RHA housing project is getting a makeover via a Hope VI grant:

2562562720098570895nUqpnF_th.jpg

This is a cool victorian home over on East St:

2690663670098570895ioRAxg_th.jpg

....A Victorian home that Peace College almost tore down. It used to be located on Blount next to the brick house in Peaces parking lot.

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The "new" Chavis Heights is more "do over" than "makeover." Or an "extreme makeover" though without the ABC TV crew, material and financial contributions from area businesses, and hundreds of hours of volutneer support. Sigh.

The building in the picture will be Senior Citizen housing, similar to the one that was built first and anchors Capitol Park. It looks like other structures (townhouses?) are under construction too. It has been a while since I've been over there... There was a long period between demolition and something arising from the ground since they reconfigured the sewer, water, etc.

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I've been thinking of the proposed football stadium for Shaw/St. Aug's, and how a nice, multi-use facility could positively affect both the schools and the community. I wish SE Raleigh had more of a sense of community. It's a vital part of our community. Anyway, here's my take on the location, taken from the Stadium thread...

"I think that a perfect site for the stadium would be in the southern Person St. area, near Shaw. St. Aug's is, literally, a five minute drive away, so it would be convenient enough to both campuses to be of significant use to both schools. However, when you talk about 12-15000 people, you're talking about maybe 4,000-5,000 cars that need to be moved to and from the stadium on gameday. This is why 440 and Rock Quarry Rd. is a good alternative, IF traffic downtown would be a problem. I'm not a traffic engineer, but that seems to be a lot of cars for those roads downtown to handle at one time. I may be wrong, though. If it's downtown, great; I would prefer it to be downtown, but it would need to be south of South Street. I think that this project belongs in Southeast Raleigh (near downtown), because of its proximity to both schools, and the economic benefit that it would bring to a largely-ignored section of Raleigh. Raleigh needs to embrace all of its colleges and universities, especially two universities as fine as Shaw and St. Aug's. I hope this gets done..."

it needs to be in SE Raleigh for sure, but do you guys think it would help more if it were near the beltline, or near downtown?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Streetscaping planned for SE Raleigh roadways. I think it's a good idea, but probably the council's way of throwing a bone to West. $350k doesn't go very far these days.

Yeah, it's a start. That's one thing that affects people's perceptions alot when they drive thru potential parts of town to live in: appearance.

If a place is run down, sketchy looking, they assume it's a dump and the real estate agents won't show them anything there. It's a tough cycle to break.

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Trees and bushes that are not taken care of will have the same fate as the plants they are replacing.

Mr. Ralph developed the Kroger at MLK and Raleigh Blvd, so is happy to get any help.

The city has recently leveled land to build houses on State street south of MLK. This project and other sporatic neighborhood improvements are nice, but do not have a lasting impact if no one maintains them.

I drove by Chavis Heights last night and saw the senior center's exterior is complete, as is the exerior on the first apartments/townhouses along Lenior Street.

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According to the N&O, Watson's flea market was raided over the weekend. Police collected several knockoff items and arrested 15 people. Even Councliman Ivey was hip to the scene:

"People told me that a lot of kids in middle school and high school said that that was the place to get knockoff Kate Spade bags," Raleigh Councilman Philip Isley said.

It is interesting that Councilman James West was not quoted. Only at the Watson Flea Market would a crackdown on illegal merchandise be considered "harassment." In the TV coverage, one of the vendors said there should have been a warning. Who needs to be warned that selling counterfit merchandise is illegal?

If the flea market is only viable because it sells knock offs, then maybe it should not exist.

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According to the N&O, Watson's flea market was raided over the weekend. Police collected several knockoff items and arrested 15 people. Even Councliman Ivey was hip to the scene:

It is interesting that Councilman James West was not quoted. Only at the Watson Flea Market would a crackdown on illegal merchandise be considered "harassment." In the TV coverage, one of the vendors said there should have been a warning. Who needs to be warned that selling counterfit merchandise is illegal?

If the flea market is only viable because it sells knock offs, then maybe it should not exist.

I disagree. The vendors that sell knockoff merchandise at the flea market, do not pass the merchandise off as the real thing. There is always some type of variation in the product to distinguish itself from the real thing. I also don't find anything wrong, when teenagers can buy shoes and jeans for $20-$30, versus making the overpriced clothing in dapartement stores, owned by millionaires rich. It's better to have first hand knowledge of the situation. I also feel that this was a ploy by the city to develop plans for the upcoming stadium. The stadium will have a much more positive impact on the area however, I just don't like the way the city went about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I now own 10 properties in the Southpark area--several apartments, 2 houses and several rooming houses. Have been there for three years and am feeling the pressure from CAC groups to get the properties inspected. I'm fortunate--I've got a crew (ALL who live in SE Raleigh) to fix the stuff the City Inspectors flag. But a number of other landlords will probably get closed down.

I've had my share of dealers and addicts renting rooms or apartments. It's not easy to get rid of them. I've also had a good number of hard working folks who are doing their best to be honest, make ends meet. Most of my renters fall somewhere in-between. I've got a lot of single moms raising families of 2-6 children by themselves. Of my 80+ occupied units, I think I only have 2 legally married couples. Many of my tenants have felony convictions. It's hard for them to find decent employment or places to live. There are not that many other places in the City that would welcome them.

But I would hardly call SE Raleigh a "concentration camp for the poor" (I've got another 14 properties scattered a few blocks east of Southpark, so I think I've got a good sense for the area.) Life is not easy. But good numbers of these folks rotate between life in SE Raleigh and life out in the "country" with relatives who've been able to "step up" in life. When they get back downtown, it looks to me like they prefer life in the City.

Concerning the drug trade: There is not enough money earned by the residents of SE Raleigh to support the drug traffic at the corners of Blount & Lee, Bragg & East and Blount & Bragg. The hookers and dealers depend a lot on drive-by traffic from the office towers downtown and visitors from the suburbs to make their money. Both dealers and hookers are getting more aggressive. I get approached on a regular basis and most of them ought to know better. But I'm a white guy in a truck. That's the profile of their market.

After reflecting on this situation for a considerable amount of time, I'm becoming more and more convinced that the heartfelt efforts of the remaining "historical" residents to hang onto their neighborhoods through government intervention (things like the "overlay planning districts" that prohibit certain kinds of development in South Park and along Martin Luther King, Blvd) violate the immutable laws of economic development. If a community has lost its ability to govern its own destiny (as has happened in Southpark as many of the descendants of some incredibly gifted black professionals--doctors, lawyers, teachers, preachers & businessmen--have moved away), then a time comes when others who are more robust and entrepreneural should be given a chance to build a new community. Many of the redevelopment formulas limit new construction to single family homes on larger lots. These kinds of properties can only be occupied by those who can afford them--and 95-99% of the remaining residents in South Park definitely would not be able to afford them.

Attracting the kinds of people who can bring Southpark back to life means dispensing with 100-150 of its hardcore criminal element (who wants to buy a home three-four doors down from the corner where a half dozen dealers are working 24/7?) The current legal system allows police to conduct seasonal "sweeps" that get 50-60% of the dealers off the streets for 30-60 days and then, like clockwork, they're back. Older and wiser.

This is a very complex problem. Very complex.

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I was in that very part of Raleigh today delivering food to people there for the Raleigh Rescue Mission. I even recognize the houses in nearly every picture.

You don't have to worry about being robbed there. Crime isn't the problem there, poverty is (often the two go hand in hand, but not really in Southeast Raleigh). I've seen the inside of many of those homes when delivering the food and it's horrible. The conditions people are living in are unbelievable... and just, well, horrible. If you think the outside is bad you won't believe the inside. Often I've never had a problem there and I deliver food every Thanksgiving.

Since I own a number of the properties in and around where you deliver food, I can speak at least for what you might be seeing. I have a number of tenants who are immaculate and maintain incredibly clean residences. I have some who can make the nicest room or apartment look like a living hell within just a few short days. Most of my folks fall somewhere in between. We cleaned out one house recently where a tenant had left a dog in a bedroom for what must have been a month or more. The room had been repainted and carpeted when the tenant took occupancy. It had wall-to-wall dog manure when the sheriff gave us possession. Do not EVER assume that the conditions you are seeing when you enter a dwelling are the fault of either the landlord or the tenant. One or the other is definitely to blame, but it's not always the landlord.

As an aside: this evening as I was dropping off my crew, we stopped to talk with a tenant who had just rented a house next to one of ours. The owner of the house (who has been a longtime owner in SE Raleigh, is African-American, has a number of properties and whose son is now managing the rentals) had neglected to inform his new tenant that the heat system in the house was broken (nonexistent?) The new tenant has a wife and five kids. Their only source of heat was a fireplace that was dumping live sparks and embers onto the shingle roof near the chimney (which is why we saw them--we wanted to alert them to a potential fire hazard.)

A Raleigh police officer is now taking incredible heat from the N&O, the City Council and his Chief over how he runs his rental properties. I've seen his houses. He deserves some of the heat. But on his WORST day, in his WORST house, his tenants have heat.

I've made several offers to purchase the property where a young family sits huddled around a fire-hazard chimney this evening. The owner refuses to sell. Instead, he is charging a higher rent than I could ever imagine to let some young folks who've just moved here from Selma freeze.

Keep delivering your food. But make an informed judgement about the conditions you're seeing. It's hard to tell who might be responsible.

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There is no area of the city with a lower average income than southeast Raleigh. It also has the highest amount of homeless shelters, rent assisted property, etc. If that is not a "concentration of the poor", what is?

Landlords who do not maintain their properties to code should be closed down. Period. The city started concentrated code enforcement a few years ago in the area to check all properties to see if the minimum requirements were met. Unfortunatly, the plan failed because -- 1) contracted inspectors were allegedly too agressive to teanants, using scare tactics to get access to the properties. 2) without direction, inspectors sited non-structural items like chiped paint in addition to structural, electrical, plumbing, etc. issues. 3) landlords did little or nothing to communicate the inspection to their tenants 4) property owners could refuse to be inspected if they chose to do so. I think inspectors can currently only inspect a dwelling that appears to be in disrepair from the treet and/or if police notice violations while on duty.

If a landlord does not perform background checks, or willingly rents to known drug dealers or users, they made a choice to do so. If you lie down with dogs, you are going to get fleas. A landlord who purchases property as an investment should do the research to know about the area that property is in.

Tenants who rent places sight unseen are responsible for their own decisions as well. The free new home and apartment guides are driven by the new developments, and there is nothing done to inform prospective tenants to lower end properties. The federal government and city build and manage some housing for the lower income brackets, but the demand far outweighs demand.

A landlord who willingly rents to drug dealers is part of the problem. If you choose to operate a rooming house and ignore existing ordinances like PROP, you have no one to blame but yourself.

The fact that Southeast Raleigh has always welcomed the down on their luck does not give anyone the green light to purchase properties there and rent to the lowest common denominator. This is exactly what Sgt. Newman did. When properties like his are allowed to slip into disrepair and are the majority, the neighborhood suffers. Then another landlord comes in and buys property from people wanting to get out, and the cycle contines. This could happen anywhere, yet it only happens in Southeast Raleigh. Why is that? A combination of an "overwhelmed" district 24 and absentee landlords more worried about profit than the neighborhood. In an improved neighborhood (see five points, Mordecai, etc.), rents could be increased, quality of life goes up, etc. But when the housing equivalent of pimps can operate in the open without reprocussions, you get the housing equivalent of prostitutes. Why is city life better than country life? I'd bet it is access to jobs and public transportation, not the quality of housing options at the prices offered.

There might not be enough money to support the SE Raleigh drug trade, but there is more than enough opportunity. If drug markets went where the money was, they would be in Wakefield, Brier Creek, Cary, and Hayes Barton. Those areas have plenty of streets to facilitate drive by traffic too. Yet it continues in southeast raleigh because the historical residents are getting old and no one did anything to give later generations a reason to live there. The Cargill processing facility on South Blount has made living in the surrounding blocks unbearable. When you are approached by dealers and hookers, do you call 911? Do you encourage your tenants to participate in neighborhood watch groups? Another part of the problem is that area is on the border between the districts 2-4 and 2-5, and their headquarters are several miles away (2-4's HQ is off Rock Quarry Road and the 2-5 is at the greyhound bus station on Jones.

There is an initiative trying to shut down the Bragg street open air market by locking up the worst offenders and offering a way out to those who have not become hardened criminals. This will prevent the "dealer replacements" from coming back by keeping the violent offenders behind bars (finishing school for thugs) for a long time and gets the "new soldiers" into another line of work. It was started in High Point and has worked in several other cities including St. Louis. RPD can provide more information than I can.

The historic districts in South Park are no different than those in Oakwood, yet Oakwood doesn't seem to have a drug problem. The idea of historic districts is to preserve the existing structures. If they were all leveled for parking lots and gas stations, there would be nothing left of the community. South Park was built by freed slaves after the Civil War. The warehouses in the southern end of South Park (starting around Bragg Street) the disconnectivity of the raised Wilmington Street, and the rise of the drug trade kept away the redevelopment dollars. Historic tax credits are a lot easier to come by in Oakwood than South Park, even though the houses are just as old and historic.

The "robust and entrepreneural" have taken over in the form of Cargill, Sgt. Newman and other known slumlords. The "block busting" of the 60s and 70s -- buying one house on a block, letting it go bad so neighbors want to sell for less -- has left the neighborhoods east of South Park in a state they never recovered from.

In interest to urban issues, South Park would still be a thriving community if development did not continue unchecked outside the beltline. New housing developments were a more attractive option for later generations to move further from downtown for a larger house complete with driveway, garage, and big yard for the same money. This kind of housing destroyed the initial community in South Park and doesn't encourage a new community on the former greenfield.

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I currently own 8 properties in South Park. They were all boarded up and abandoned when I purchased them. Some had been foreclosed on. Others sat on the market for far too long. Some came available in estate sales. One was scheduled for City demolition 25 days after closing. My company has spent--to date--over $120K fixing up these properties alone. We would like to see South Park make a comeback and continue to look to buy more property within it. A retired police officer--T.N. Bates--recently completed a major rehab of the previously "bombed out looking" 16 unit building on the corner of Bragg and East. It is now the best looking multi-unit property in South Park. It was his third major rehab project in SE Raleigh and he is constantly having my son--who works for him--place calls to the police concerning the dealers and prostitutes who work the corner of Bragg and East.

I would love to work with a group of serious investors to buy out the worst properties in the area. We've already put a lot of our own skin in the game, but don't see the City, the ACORN folks, the whining residents or the police doing much more than token efforts to improve the place.

I personally think that the City should have labor camps set up somewhere in the County and ship off all the young dealers, prostitutes and gangbangers to a military like environment--provide them structure, discipline, training and rehabilitation.

I've made some friends in SE Raleigh--usually among the neighbors of my rental properties. They see the efforts I'm making to improve rundown properties and although I still make some mistakes in tenant selection, they see me work hard to get tenants to modify bad behaviors or move out.

Landlords, in addition to facing zealous City inspectors (3 of my properties in South Park have been "carded" probably by ACORN folks in the past 2 weeks) also have to deal with the righteous folks at Legal Aid, who have an incredible propensity for defending to the hilt the most worthless people I've ever met. "Self-help" evictions are not an option. A landlord has to go through the 30-37 day legal eviction process with lost rents and all to get rid of problem tenants.

I sense you have some experience in this neighborhood. Do you have any "skin" in the game (in terms of owning property in the area)? This place is not going to change until people with the wherewithal, guts and vision are willing to step up to the plate and buy it up.

I've got a number of black friends who are middle class. They want safe places for their kids to grow up and would never dream of living in South Park. I've got a lot of tenants who have children and they are stuck in South Park because it is all they can afford. They are also stuck with the $*##$%* County School system which busses their kids impossibly far away for school.

I'm seeing 7 constituencies that need to get together to make anything good finally happen:

There is no area of the city with a lower average income than southeast Raleigh. It also has the highest amount of homeless shelters, rent assisted property, etc. If that is not a "concentration of the poor", what is?

Landlords who do not maintain their properties to code should be closed down. Period. The city started concentrated code enforcement a few years ago in the area to check all properties to see if the minimum requirements were met. Unfortunatly, the plan failed because -- 1) contracted inspectors were allegedly too agressive to teanants, using scare tactics to get access to the properties. 2) without direction, inspectors sited non-structural items like chiped paint in addition to structural, electrical, plumbing, etc. issues. 3) landlords did little or nothing to communicate the inspection to their tenants 4) property owners could refuse to be inspected if they chose to do so. I think inspectors can currently only inspect a dwelling that appears to be in disrepair from the treet and/or if police notice violations while on duty.

If a landlord does not perform background checks, or willingly rents to known drug dealers or users, they made a choice to do so. If you lie down with dogs, you are going to get fleas. A landlord who purchases property as an investment should do the research to know about the area that property is in.

Tenants who rent places sight unseen are responsible for their own decisions as well. The free new home and apartment guides are driven by the new developments, and there is nothing done to inform prospective tenants to lower end properties. The federal government and city build and manage some housing for the lower income brackets, but the demand far outweighs demand.

A landlord who willingly rents to drug dealers is part of the problem. If you choose to operate a rooming house and ignore existing ordinances like PROP, you have no one to blame but yourself.

The fact that Southeast Raleigh has always welcomed the down on their luck does not give anyone the green light to purchase properties there and rent to the lowest common denominator. This is exactly what Sgt. Newman did. When properties like his are allowed to slip into disrepair and are the majority, the neighborhood suffers. Then another landlord comes in and buys property from people wanting to get out, and the cycle contines. This could happen anywhere, yet it only happens in Southeast Raleigh. Why is that? A combination of an "overwhelmed" district 24 and absentee landlords more worried about profit than the neighborhood. In an improved neighborhood (see five points, Mordecai, etc.), rents could be increased, quality of life goes up, etc. But when the housing equivalent of pimps can operate in the open without reprocussions, you get the housing equivalent of prostitutes. Why is city life better than country life? I'd bet it is access to jobs and public transportation, not the quality of housing options at the prices offered.

There might not be enough money to support the SE Raleigh drug trade, but there is more than enough opportunity. If drug markets went where the money was, they would be in Wakefield, Brier Creek, Cary, and Hayes Barton. Those areas have plenty of streets to facilitate drive by traffic too. Yet it continues in southeast raleigh because the historical residents are getting old and no one did anything to give later generations a reason to live there. The Cargill processing facility on South Blount has made living in the surrounding blocks unbearable. When you are approached by dealers and hookers, do you call 911? Do you encourage your tenants to participate in neighborhood watch groups? Another part of the problem is that area is on the border between the districts 2-4 and 2-5, and their headquarters are several miles away (2-4's HQ is off Rock Quarry Road and the 2-5 is at the greyhound bus station on Jones.

There is an initiative trying to shut down the Bragg street open air market by locking up the worst offenders and offering a way out to those who have not become hardened criminals. This will prevent the "dealer replacements" from coming back by keeping the violent offenders behind bars (finishing school for thugs) for a long time and gets the "new soldiers" into another line of work. It was started in High Point and has worked in several other cities including St. Louis. RPD can provide more information than I can.

The historic districts in South Park are no different than those in Oakwood, yet Oakwood doesn't seem to have a drug problem. The idea of historic districts is to preserve the existing structures. If they were all leveled for parking lots and gas stations, there would be nothing left of the community. South Park was built by freed slaves after the Civil War. The warehouses in the southern end of South Park (starting around Bragg Street) the disconnectivity of the raised Wilmington Street, and the rise of the drug trade kept away the redevelopment dollars. Historic tax credits are a lot easier to come by in Oakwood than South Park, even though the houses are just as old and historic.

The "robust and entrepreneural" have taken over in the form of Cargill, Sgt. Newman and other known slumlords. The "block busting" of the 60s and 70s -- buying one house on a block, letting it go bad so neighbors want to sell for less -- has left the neighborhoods east of South Park in a state they never recovered from.

In interest to urban issues, South Park would still be a thriving community if development did not continue unchecked outside the beltline. New housing developments were a more attractive option for later generations to move further from downtown for a larger house complete with driveway, garage, and big yard for the same money. This kind of housing destroyed the initial community in South Park and doesn't encourage a new community on the former greenfield.

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My "skin in the game" is not in South Park, but is nearby. My residence of almost six years now is a few blocks due east of Moore Square and a partnership of my neighbors and I bought prorperty in the Martin-Haywood area south of the 600 block of Martin Street we are currently fixing up. I am also secretary of the South Central CAC ( PDF map of the area ). Through the neighborhood watch, I've organized several community trash pick ups in my area, but it is always the same three or four people who turn out. Other peopole walking around will help if I pay them, but none will do it just to improve the neighborhood.

Central CAC covers the South Park area and meets the first Monday of the month at 7 in the Top Green Community Center, near the intersection of MLK and East.

ACORN has good intentions, but often has bad, borderline militant tactics. They appear to be selective in their operations, and seem to be fighting any outside investment in the community. All this despite decades of non-investment from the existing community, other than slumlords adding more property. (EDIT/addition by me) If they went after known community slumlords with the same amount of pressure it sounds like they are applying to Fellowtraveler, I would join their cause. But they won't. I hope the recent police officer landlord articles do not give them more fuel to shut out anyone who wants to improve the area.

There are a lot of properties I would love to see in the hands of someone willing to do something with. There will always be a need for rental units in the area, but for it to improve, there will need to be owner-occupied houses to shoulder some of the work. I don't know what it will take to get the middle class of all races to see the opportunity avaiable in South Park and SE Raleigh in general. Fixing properties one at a time will hopefully get more people on board.

Edited by ncwebguy
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I hope the people that move there don't complain about 440 traffic in a few years! Or the ambulance sirens from Wake Med a few blocks away.

With fewer than six units per acre, how are these *condos* and not town houses or duplexes? I guess the stream buffer takes some space, but not that much. Also the apartments between the condo site and Wake Med aren't exactly high end. But maybe there is a market that wants to be between a hospital, apartments, and the beltline.

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This could just as easily go in the Affordable housing thread, but I thought it's better here since it's really about SE Raleigh.

Several blogs from BTB recently about the rental property situation in SE Raleigh, but this takes the cake.

Back to East Martin Street, where the rental house there was so bad that the City paid Ms. McGhee nine times what she paid for it ten years earlier, then tore it down.

I thought the Community Services Department was using the housing bond money to provide fit housing for the least fortunate among us, not to line the pockets of some of our most fortunate (aka slumlords), while taking housing stock out of the market. Are you as confused and baffled as I am?

How deep does this go? In 2000 and 2001, the City bought two houses in the 600 block of East Martin for $159,400. Since 2003, the City has purchased six houses and buildings in the 700 block of East Martin for a total of $565,000. And we are just scratching the surface on one three block stretch of one downtown street.

What a deal for any aspiring slumlord - 1) buy distressed properties downtown, 2) distress them (and the po

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My "skin in the game" is not in South Park, but is nearby. My residence of almost six years now is a few blocks due east of Moore Square and a partnership of my neighbors and I bought prorperty in the Martin-Haywood area south of the 600 block of Martin Street we are currently fixing up.

I also have some "skin in the game" nearby. I just finished renovating an old house not far from you ncwebguy. I also have two other houses nearby that I just bought and plan on fixing up. I am familiar with the area you just bought into and I think it has great potential. Can't wait to see what you do with it. I wish maybe a group would get together and try to buy that burned out house in Martin and Haywood. That has become a real eyesore.

My newly renovated house turned out great. I get tons of interest but the activities on nearby Martin Street make it a very hard sell for renters. I must say though that the RPD has been very responsive to complaints of drug dealing in the area. As was said earlier in this thread, the problem is just far bigger and more complex than law enforcemet can solve.

I do think I will attend a meeting of the Southeast CAC very soon.

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Jojo, if the Jim Black fiasco is any indication, it could/should mean jail time for somebody. These prices must be supported by some sort of data....previous price paid, an appraisel which would naturally be backed up with nearby comps, none of which would be anywhere close to 100k apiece when deductions for the building's condition are factored in.....if you look closely you will likely either find incompetence, payoffs to those administering the bond funds or a conflict of interest (i.e. a slumlord happens to be a person distributing the funds...)....

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This could just as easily go in the Affordable housing thread, but I thought it's better here since it's really about SE Raleigh.

How deep does this go? In 2000 and 2001, the City bought two houses in the 600 block of East Martin for $159,400. Since 2003, the City has purchased six houses and buildings in the 700 block of East Martin for a total of $565,000.

Jojo, I checked the Wake County RE records and came up with the following City purchases on the 700 block of E Martin

702-704-706 E Martin Street is the Old Star Grill. That bldg was purchased for 103,000

701 E Martin Street was 63,000

703 E Martin Street was 54,000

705 E Martin Street was 73,000

707 E Martin Street was 50,000

712 E Martin Street is a 4000sq ft commercial bldg purchased for 220,000

As an investor in that area, I do not think the City greatly overpaid for these properties. I am pretty familiar with most of those parcels and the purchase price seems in line with other sales in the area. I for one am very glad to see the City purchase these parcels and hopefully they will redevelop them very soon. That would go a long way in cleaning up the neighborhood and, if successful, may save the City many $$ in police expenses. Maybe the tax base will also go up and help the city recoup its' funds.

Upon closer examination it may not be such a scandal at all.

Just a thought.

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I took a drive through the whole area bounded by New Bern/Raleigh/MLK/Downtown yesterday and I have to say there is quite a bit more fixing up going on there than about a year ago. I don't remember the new subdivision over near the Raleigh/MLK intersection but if the improving of properties reaches that far the whole neighborhood will look pretty good. Some of the houses are very large and fix up very nicely. I am even considering a move there from my condo now at some point.

On a very side note, someone rehabbed 608 E Hargett which is one of the handful of pre Civil War houses left and completely ruined it. It is two stories with a cool clay tile roof. I wish the work being done would be historically sensitive, not just wrapping 150 year old weather boards in vinyl siding and replacing leaded glass with crappy new vinyl windows....teh value of that place went down with that work imo.

post-4367-1171852757_thumb.jpg

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