According to Contemporary Urban Planning, making sites and buildings available is one of methods that a community can do to promote its economic growth. The reason why this could promote economic growth is because developers, business owners, firms, and etc. need a site to fulfill their duties. These sites “ . . . attract commercial activity and retain existing activity” (Levy; 274). Business owners need a site to run a business. Sites that are not floodplains and have access to utilities such as water, sewer lines, and have electrical power, consist of a criteria that makes a site usable. Let’s consider the city of Trenton, New Jersey. According to The Trenton Neighborhood Restoring Campaign, there are a total of 3,423 vacant buildings, of which only 337 are owned by the city of Trenton. That’s 1 in 4 buildings within Trenton are vacant. That means there are 3,086 economic and taxing opportunities in Trenton and a possible 337 more with proper consent.
Where vacant buildings are concentrated around the city of Trenton. Red is high concentration; blue is low; tan is neutral. (The Trenton Neighborhood Restoration Campaign)
The City holds public auctions periodically for qualified parties who seek to rehabilitate City-owned tax delinquent buildings so that they can be put back onto the tax roll. The City even negotiates pricing outside of auctions on properties redevelopment areas (NJTV News; 2014). According to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson, vacant buildings could cost $1 or up to $10,000, depending upon the assessed value of the land. But the question is, who would be interested in locating their firm, business, franchise, or residence in Trenton, NJ? Well considering streets like East Hanover, which received multiple grants in 2014. Marty Johnson, CEO and President of Isles, states that East Hanover Street is walking distance away from state office buildings, and is ideal for homesteaders.
They also offer tax abatement during the first five years for homesteaders which leads me to the other “can do” for the economic growth. The Enterprise Zone. This could attract many new and starting-up business owners who are looking for not only cheap properties but also grants and a variety of tax breaks including, property tax reductions, sales tax reductions, reduced corporate income tax, and so on. The only problem with subsidization is, where is the municipal funding going to come from? Maybe generous business owners from surrounding areas, gentrification, or even tax revenues gained from rehabilitated vacant buildings? I do not know exactly but these are just a few options that can be implemented. The point is, just like cities like Philadelphia, for the size of Trenton, NJ, and its potential. The city is a land bank considering land, transportation and history.