News and Tribune

Clark County

July 13, 2014

Pleasant Ridge redevelopment plan delayed in Charlestown

Rebuilding of subdivision tabled several months

CHARLESTOWN — Plans to redevelop the dilapidated Charlestown subdivision Pleasant Ridge will not take place as soon as once expected.

Charlestown Mayor Bob Hall said the delay has resulted from prospective contracts among other communities in the state — not Charlestown — that might receive funding from the state Blight Elimination Program, BEP.

“There is more money in the program than projects requested,” Hall said, reiterating that Charlestown has already made its requests in full for the funding. “We have sent a formal request to ask that our application be deferred to a second round.”

Hall has said no official date has been set to announce the completion of the funding, but he is expecting action in November or December. He said the delay works well for Charlestown residents and officials.

“That will allow us to have the opportunity to firm up all the partners and developers in this that want to participate and meet with [Pleasant Ridge] homeowners and discussing one-on-one what will be the best situation,” Hall said.

He said he expects developers will be meeting with homeowners to find an agreeable price to sell the homes before the redevelopment can begin.

“Whatever a developer pays for [a home] is between he and the homeowner or landlord,” Hall said.

He said up to $15,000 has is expected to be made available though the BEP to purchase each home, but, despite the understanding of some homeowners, that value is not the expected sale price of the residences.

The BEP is only subsidizing the sale price, and only up to $6,000 would actually go toward the purchase price, while the remaining $9,000 would fund demolition and possible maintenance costs.

Hall said a developer can purchase one or many structures in Pleasant Ridge, then through a “wrap-around agreement” with the city — which is administering the BEP funding — end up with a lot to build on.

“It is to be able to make it financially feasible for a developer,” he said.

Many of those who live and own homes in Pleasant Ridge have recently voiced their frustrations with the city’s plans to essentially remove the residents, demolish all the homes and put in new housing and businesses.

Some of the homeowners have said that while the majority of the subdivision is in great need of redevelopment, it is unfair for those who have maintained their properties to be forced to sell.

“Everybody in the community, in and out of Pleasant Ridge, agree that something needs to be done. Nearly one of every two calls to the police department are to Pleasant Ridge, even though it is only 15 percent of our housing stock,” Hall said. “A great amount of resources are being spent there.”

He said Pleasant Ridge homeowners are suffering from plummeting home values because of the overall condition of the subdivision.

“We have attempted several things to revitalize Pleasant Ridge. Those have not worked,” Hall said. “This is an opportunity to make it a win-win for all the people involved, if they [residents] can come to a [home purchase] price with the buyer they are happy with.”

He said the city is continuing to struggle with getting the right information to the public.

“The misinformation is that the city is going to go out and pay [homeowners] only $6,000 and take the property, make people homeless and all this,” Hall said. “That is all emotion and not part of the project to do that.”

 

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