<strong>by Michael R. Allen</strong>
The lot at 2805 Hadley Street in Old North St. Louis may be fenced but sports an incredible amount of debris. One can find broken PVC pipes, old furniture, solid fill and scraps of wood lying around its confines. That is, during the winter. In the warm months, the grass grows so tall on this lot that passers-by would not be startled if someone told them that a house was on the lot.
Next door, a lovely late 1870’s townhouse is undergoing and ambitious rehab from an owner who is rehabbing other buildings in the neighborhood. Across Hadley Street is Ames School, one of the city’s finest elementary schools.
The owner of the lot?
Blairmont Associates LC, one of the near north side’s most active collectors of vacant lots and buildings. Where the owner of the house next door sees a need to restore his building, Blairmont sees nothing but the future value of the land and is willing to hurt its neighbors today so that its owners can profit tomorrow.