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Nathan_in_DC

Blighted properties and squatters

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Just yesterday there was a tragic fire that claimed the lives of two firefighters here in Philadelphia in an abandoned textile mill. After further investigation, it was discovered that the city's licenses and inspection department had been receiving a steady stream of complaints from area residents over the last 6 months about the place, noting its imminent collapse and the high number of squatters, copper thieves, and druggies turning it into a den to shoot up in. There's a big discussion over here on it: http://www.philadelphiaspeaks.com/forum/fishtown-northern-liberties-kensington-port-richmond/29594-massive-abandoplex-fire-thomas-buck-hosiery.html

Anyway, what are some of the more offensive examples of properties like this in Nashville? How diligent is the Nashville codes enforcement office in ensuring that these buildings are properly sealed off and maintained? I know of at least one example (the old fire hall in East Nashville) that recently burned due to homeless using it as an ersatz shelter, but are there many more examples of this in the city? If so, is there any real push to have anything done about them?

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While I love old factories and industrial properties, I think Nashville is somewhat fortunate that we do not have quite so many of these.

While they look great when rehabbed and repurposed, they often do have structural issues from years of neglect. I would imagine that former industrial powerhouse cities (primarily in the rust belt) that were huge at the beginning of the 20th century, have the biggest problem with this.

The Neuhoff plant along the river is probably the most prominent example of a big property that desperately needs attention.

The Marathon Motorworks building doesn't look all that great from some angles...but at least it is being used.

For a non-industrial property, the TDOT building on Charlotte needs a bit of attention.

I think the "broken windows theory" has some merit when it comes to squatters and crime. Simply fencing an area off doesn't do the trick. Some rehab work should be done to keep these buildings from being the target of squatters, vandalism, and other crime (drugs, etc). Again, I think we're fortunate not to have a plethora of these...but we need to be more attentive to the ones we do have.

I would hate for some of these very interesting buildings to be razed...but that's what it will come to if we allow them to be breeding grounds for crime. They are a part of Nashville's industrial past, and I hope that we can find a way to preserve them a la Marathon & the Werthan Mills buildings (as well as the Jamison Factory in Franklin).

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