Dooley kicks off effort targeting vacant, abandoned eyesores, problem properties

St. Louis County Executive Charlie A. Dooley will kick off an aggressive program targeting problem properties Monday by bringing down the long-vacant Glasgow Village Shopping Center, 100 Glashop Lane.

The shopping center is the first of 41 abandoned structures slated for removal under Dooley’s revamped neighborhood stabilization strategy, according to a news release.

“The properties targeted under this initiative are not only eyesores but also have numerous documented code violations and calls for service to St. Louis County Police. St. Louis County is serving notice that we’re simply not willing to sit and watch these nuisances fester. We’re taking bold action to improve our neighborhoods and the citizens’ quality of life,” Dooley stated in the release.

Dooley will be joined by a number of community leaders at a press conference that begins at 1:30 p.m. Monday in the shopping center’s parking lot. The county executive and guests will participate in the actual, physical demolition of the decaying retail structure, the release stated.

At 2:30 p.m. Monday, a fire-damaged home at 10050 Imperial — near Glasgow Village — will be demolished. This property also has a long history of police service calls and code violations, according to the release.

Dooley pushed for an adjustment of thecCounty’s interpretation of its demolition code to enable a more aggressive demolition effort.

The Department of Public Works now is able to demolish structures that have lost 50 percent of their value as a result of fire and/or abandonment. Previously, the county couldn’t raze a building unless it was at least 50 percent structurally damaged.

With the demolition code adjustment, and an increase in the county’s demolition budget — to $722,000 from $72,000 — St. Louis County is moving aggressively to knock down chronic eyesore structures. By this summer, the county expects to spend $204,000 to demolish four fire-charred homes in Spanish Lake/Glasgow Village and the Glasgow Village Shopping Center.

“We follow a very precisely defined, multistep procedure that allows us to identify and remove nuisance properties from neighborhoods,” Dooley stated. “Residents work hard to maintain their property and keep their neighborhoods safe; St. Louis County is doing its part to help them.”