by Michael R. Allen
Citizens often complain that St. Louis aldermen are in impediment to selling Land Reutilization Authority (LRA), but Alderman Antonio French (D-21st) is actually trying to help. French has launched a 21st Ward Real Estate website with information about available LRA-owned property in his ward.
Why do people complain? LRA requires a letter of aldermanic support before selling a parcel to an interested buyer, and aldermen often have parcels removed from the sale list when they are needed for community development corporation or private development projects.
LRA also has maintained a rather old-fashioned website with only a handful of properties having photographs. With no dedicated funding for marketing, LRA cannot do more.
That’s fine. Alderman French is showing us that LRA marketing is possible without additional appropriation to LRA. Other aldermen or community groups can — and should — do what French is doing.