Saturday, May 10, 2008

If the walls could talk...

But first, some outright delusion (or is it??)...
Oh, hi! My name is Chrissy, and I live in the East Ward, and I own a house near the high school. I own CO Development Corporation, and my dream is to knock down my architecturally lovely, nearly 100-year old federalist home, and instead erect a 10-story, mixed-use — commercial and residential — building in its place. I am here tonight to ask you, esteemed members of city council, if you could change the usage and/or zoning verbiage in my neighborhood to allow me to do what I want. Please? Don't you accommodate all developers, no matter how lame-brained their plans are?


Now, back to the talking walls...

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Oh, hi! I'm a busy, convenient little Sunoco station on the corner of Greenwood and S. Clinton avenues, and even though I do a fine business, and am not a knucklehead-hangout, like the Shell station up the street, on the corner of Greenwood and Chambers. But, it's just not enough. I'm slated for destruction to make way for a supposed 25-story building, the supposed cornerstone of Trenton's Supposed Transit Village.



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Oh, hi! I'm 418 Greenwood Avenue, and I'm Glen's favorite house in all of Trenton. My trees add to my attractiveness, though they do block the view of the carriage house in the back, which is quite large, and well-maintained just like the rest of my property. Look at the architectural details, and my original parts! Oh, yeah, I'm occupied! Unfortunately, I'm slated for destruction to make way for Trenton's Transit Village.



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Oh, hi! I'm 434 Greenwood Avenue, and even though the numbers aren't consecutive, I'm right next door to 418 Greenwood (you can even see a bit of me in the previous picture). I'm a slightly different style home than my neighbor, but I'm impeccably maintained, and am currently occupied. Unfortunately, the Green City of Trenton is planning to knock me down to make way for Trenton's Transit Village.



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Oh, hi! I'm a distinctive, historic house for rent for office use, directly across the street from the doomed Sunoco station, on the southeast corner of Greenwood and Clinton avenues. Despite all of the renovations that went into my repair, I've been sitting vacant for awhile now. My renovators were respectful of my heritage and cleaned me up so nice, too. So far, my future is clear: I won't be razed to make way for Trenton's Transit Village, and I shouldn't be, either, since I'm so nice to look at as people drive down the hill and into the East Ward. I wonder if the developers of Trenton's Transit Village will be able to get tenants, if I haven't for so long?



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Oh, hi! I'm a beautiful old vacant brownstone directly across the street from two houses scheduled for demolition to accommodate Trenton's Transit Village, and I'm right next to the house in the previous picture, which, like me, is also vacant. Notice the care that's gone into my restoration. I'm not sure why I haven't been able to attract any businesses, though there is a small business in the back carriage house. I should be safe from the bulldozer, which is a relief, because even though I'm vacant, drivers heading east on Greenwood like to look at me as they pass.



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Oh, hi! I'm a decorative old Federalist style home, vacant, sitting next to the vacant property above. A lot of love and sweat has gone into my renovation and upkeep, but still, no one occupies my space within. I'm directly across the street from two beautiful, maintained, occupied homes that will be demolished to make way for a 25-story building in Trenton's Transit Village, but I should be safe.



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Oh, hi! I'm the last of the maintained, large beautiful houses on and near the corner of Greenwood and S. Clinton Avenue, on the north side of Greenwood. I do have some businesses within and boast parking for the area's workers and residents. I'm directly across the street from two occupied, maintained homes that will be demolished to make way for Trenton's progress.



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Oh, hi! I'm 532 East State Street, just behind the train station, within easy walking distance to the station, ample parking, and any future Transit Village. Even though my side of the train station, with its completely empty lots and boarded up homes, would make a fine spot for Trenton's Transit Village, we'll probably grow more and more blighted in the coming years. Too bad a developer won't use this section of the city; he or she would really be making a positive impact, without any compromise to his or her dreams.




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Oh, hi! I'm an empty lot on East State Street, just behind the train station. I could be completely pessimistic, but I suspect that those nice properties on Greenwood will look just like me in the not-so-distant future, and what a shame that will be, given that location's hustle and bustle. No one wants to look at properties like me because they're not only an eyesore, but also a constant reminder of failure.



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Oh, hi! Can you believe how many empty lots there are on East State Street, of all places? But look at me, I'm another one! I'm conveniently located right behind the train station, not too far from the entrance. I know I'll be like this for years to come, empty and neglected, fenced up and gone to waste, even though I might make a developer's dream come true. Odd, though, how they only want what's pretty. Maybe it's just fun to watch the wrecking ball?



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Oh, hi! I'm a not-so-successful factory conversion to loft apartments, and I've been "coming soon!" for some time now. There's a big padlock on my front door, and as you can see, I fit in so well on my block of East State Street. I wonder why development has stalled, and no one will rent me? I'm glad, though, that I'll still be standing, even if vacant, while those two beautiful occupied homes just around the corner get knocked down to make way for Trenton's future.




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Oh, hi! Welcome to hell! The corner of Walnut and Chestnut avenues, that is! As you can see, you can't turn your head more than half a degree without seeing boarded up urban decay. Why is it that developers want only attractive properties to knock down, and why do government officials actually think the developers will be helping the city by knocking down those attractive properties while places like this little festering sore are allowed to continue to fester? I'm just a stone's throw away from the entrance to the train station. Convenient, if not for the fear I inspire currently.




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Oh, hi! I'm an entire block on Chestnut Avenue. Hard to believe, based on my looks, that people actually live here, but they do. It would be nice if someone took an interest in us, as it would really help the city. We're just around the corner from the train station, and with some love and a lot of work, could have made a nice spot for Trenton's new business hub located around the train station.




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Oh, hi! I'm on the southeast corner of Chestnut and Walnut Avenues, right around the corner from the Trenton Train Station. I'm attached to a block very nearly as bad as the one in the previous picture. I'm not sure how places like this are allowed to exist, especially when rich developers have so much money and good will to help fix up the city. Anyone need a baby chair?



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Oh hi! I'm most of the first block of Chestnut Avenue, attached to the building pictured previously. The city owns several of the buildings on my block — you can tell because the city boards up the windows with pretty scenes of windows with curtains and flowers and sometimes kitties. My favorite abandoned city-owned homes have pictures of the kitties, but unfortunately, we only have vases with flowers over here on Chestnut, but the result is the same: there's no one inside these structures, and the property is going to waste. This block might have provided the perfect footprint for the proposed new 25-story building slated to be the cornerstone of Trenton's Transit Center, since we're so close to the station, but unfortunately the developer would prefer to wreck more perfect buildings.

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