ST. LOUIS — Monday, residents in the Jeff Vander Lou neighborhood asked questions about a new blight study and how it will impact their homes.

 “Some of these vacant buildings have caught fire next to residents’ homes, or they’re not being well taken care of so when family comes to these residents’ homes, they have to look at a building that is if not completely fallen down is open,” said Ald. Rasheen Aldridge.

More than 850 acres of homes and businesses surrounding the NGA West Campus are part of a new blight study. Alderman Aldridge said the goal of his proposal is to help with redevelopment in the neighborhood. 

“It is something that in my opinion can really bring a bright light to North St. Louis. We have an anchor with NGA coming in that can help but at the same time the way NGA came in also hurt people with forcing them out of their homes. So we’re being very cautious,” said Ald. Aldridge. 

“Residents to take advantage of a tax abatement or a freeze for their properties when they make improvements,” Peter Hoffman, Managing Attorney Legal Services Eastern Missouri. “The idea of a community advisory panel so allowing residents to kind of have a seat at the table for development. Learn what’s going to happen in the community.”

The main concern of residents is eminent domain. “I am one hundred percent trying to make sure that eminent domain isn’t used in the wrong way. So what we’ve been able to put in this blight study and redevelopment bill is that eminent domain cannot be used on existing residents that currently live here. So they can’t be kicked out of their home,” said Ald. Aldridge.