Why I Think This World Should End by Prince Ea

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Filmed on Hebert Street at Elliott Avenue on St. Louis’ near north side, this imagery is familiar to anyone who has ventured to the lesser traveled corners of our city. It’s visual proof of, a testament to, the dishonest, and failed policies of the past and today. More than a symptom of today’s challenges, an abandoned city is the outcome of our failures. This world should end.

As noted in the comments below, the building in the video is owned by NorthSide Regeneration. There has not been a demolition permit issued for the building. City records show it was sold twice in 2006, first for $118,000, and then for $132,000 two months later. The building has been recorded as vacant since 2007. Owned by MLK 3000 LLC (likely a shell company for NorthSide) in 2006, ownership transferred to NorthSide Regeneration LLC in 2010. Here’s what the building has looked like over the past few years:

September 2007:Hebert Street - North St. Louis

September 2009:Hebert Street - North St. Louis

September 2011:Hebert Street - North St. Louis

October 2012:Hebert Street - North St. Louis

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  • bkrumsieg

    This is two blocks from my parent’s house. The building, while boarded up was doing fine for years and then right around 2009 is when the bricks were stolen off the side. It was incredible how long the internal structure, particularly the 2nd floor held up even in the elements before finally collapsing. Really spoke volumes about the quality of the construction. The brick thieving got really crazy up there for a few years.

  • STLEnginerd

    My take…

    McKee is so boned. In his zealousness he overextended too much on land/property acquisition especially at the height of the market in 2006-2007. Now he has no money to actually develop any of it. He invested 132K into this property then let it fall apart!?!?!?! That’s not a strategy for success. The land it sits on is now worth 5-10K at best and probably wouldn’t sell at that right now. I can’t believe that was his intention but he is stuck. Now he is trying to get out. Case in point, lets try to unload as much as possible by convincing the NGIS to buy a giant chunk of it. The city is complicit in so much as they continue to entertain his hollow promises and pave the way before him even though the emperor has no clothes. There are better places for NGIS even within the city limits but instead the city has only proposed a single alternative, the one that help McKee escape the cage he built for himself.

    Unfortunately North St. Louis can’t move on until McKee declares bankruptcy and walks away from his investment. On some level I feel bad for him but that’s no reason to tolerate his continued avoidance of the consequences of hubris.

    Just my take…

  • Gary

    How fitting that the owner of the building is none other than Northside Regeneration LLC

    • Alex Ihnen

      Odds on whether NorthSide (neglect) or Prince Ea (trespassing) will be fined first?

    • Frank Wheeler

      Huh, I didn’t know that even after having seen it a few times. Of course I’m not surprised at all.

      You (or anyone) know any other info about it? Like what it used to look like/why it hasn’t been demo’d? I’ve heard some bits of info as to the latter but nothing concrete.

      • It’s owned by Northside? I’ll take a stab at it:

        1) Demo costs money.
        2) Demo by neglect devalues surrounding neighborhood.
        3) Devaluing surrounding neighborhood makes new parcel purchases easier/cheaper.
        4) Repeat.

        Our “leaders” have put us in a very difficult/dangerous position here — one in which we are, by mayoral/council support, complicit in the tactical destruction and disinvestment of a large swath of St. Louis’ near north side, as well as that of the people who do/did live there. If Northside fails, the City shares the blame. And thus the City is forced to continue supporting it, even when nothing has been done in five years to warrant that support.

        • Alex Ihnen

          Added images a little info to the post.

        • Sam

          I spent a week with Paul this summer as I shadowed him. I’ll say I am a big fan if his project, but the one area that disappointed me was the small number of buildings he plans to save. Iirc he plans to save something like 85 existing homes and demolish around 230. I think most of the homes to be saves will be around ST louis place.

          • Adam

            Yeah, projects always look great in Power Point.

          • Frank Wheeler

            Interesting. That’s a lot of demolition. During your time with Mr McKee did you ask him what he has to say to people who say he’s helping further ruin their neighborhoods and their historic buildings?

          • Alex Ihnen

            I’d just add that no one knows which buildings he plans/hopes to save and which are being demo’d or left to fall. I’ve heard there’s a list, but haven’t been able to find anything.

  • Yojimbo

    Beautiful and true.

  • Mathew Chandler

    based