Instead of watching weeds grow on vacant lots and siding rot on abandoned buildings, Wheeling officials have decided to take an aggressive approach to redevelopment. It involves partnerships between the city and private developers.
As we have reported, the city is making available for sale several pieces of property that are in excellent locations for redevelopment. In many cases, the properties include dilapidated buildings, the owners of which deeded them over to the city rather than bear the expense of rehabilitation or razing.
Potential developers may be able to buy some of the properties at bargain basement prices - as little as $1 - but there will be strings attached.
Proposals to buy the properties must be accompanied by plans to redevelop them for productive use. Developers submitting the most realistic, promising proposals with their bids will be able to buy the land and/or buildings.
There also will be deadlines for rehabilitation of the properties, to ensure they become assets instead of remaining liabilities.
City officials have come up with a good, realistic plan for dealing with some formerly unwanted properties in Wheeling. By partnering with the private sector, they may have set the stage for renewal rather than ongoing decay.