This is something of a sidebar to this week’s cover story “Falling Down, Getting Back Up.” Though the stories may seem like novellas, you’d be surprised how much stuff has to be left out because of lack of room, or for various other reasons. Of course, there’s enough material on the topic of our story – the Near Southeast housing/ political situation – to fill an encyclopedia volume. For those who haven’t read the story yet, I’m not going to attempt to summarize it, because that would only obscure the point of this post.
One of the issues we discussed in the story is that local developer Tom Struhs and his business partner Ken Barr purchased 120 lots in the Near Southeast neighborhood. He has discussed selling a few of those properties back to the city, but only at cost. And the purchase and upkeep of the property has come at great expense to Struhs. He has paid on average $5,500 per lot, which includes a $1,000 commission to the realtors who tracked down the owners of the lots, and the back property taxes owed by the previous owners – in some cases up to 15 years worth of taxes. On top of that, he pays roughly $3,500 a month for mowing and upkeep of the property.
I just wanted to give Struhs credit for paying the back taxes on all of those properties.