Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Publish Day - Ink Blog - Developers' recipe

I'm a bit tongue-in-cheek in today's column. But in all cheekiness there is biting truth. I suspect the cozy relationship between London's city hall and the some of the city's developers is similarly played out in cities just about anywhere.

I'm also trying something new with this column. Given the rapid-fire nature of the Ink Blog format, I'm hoping to get a bit more interactive with readers by actively drawing out their feedback for future entries. I'm not sure how it'll end up, but it's worth a shot.

Here's the text:

A new recipe for London developers

Published Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The London Free Press

It’s finally dawned on me how property developers get ahead in our city:

  • Take a formerly-glorious London mansion.
  • Rent it to students. Invest no money into it for almost a decade.
  • Let it sit empty for several months before the inevitable squatters move
  • in and promptly set the place on fire.
  • Leave it boarded up – for drug users, you know – for a few more years.
  • Complain to city hall that it’ll cost too much to restore the property.
  • Drop hints that the alternative is demolition.
  • Convince city planners that taxpayers should at least partly fund any
  • restoration.
  • Get the city to approve plans to build additional housing on the site.
  • Laugh all the way to the bank.

Am I the only one who thinks our elected officials are handing our money and our city’s future to folks whose only concern is their own profitability?

E-mail me your suggestions on how we can do better and I’ll revisit the issue later this week.


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