Thursday, August 06, 2009

Dog Day Digest


Who'd have thought that a wave of foreclosures would have a positive impact on a neighborhood?

Strangely enough, that's the case in Parker-Gray. Despite the limping economy, some of the most derelict homes in our neighborhood have been foreclosed and are now being renovated and spruced up for resale.

Neighbors are relieved that 317 N. West Street is nearly finished. This was one of the premier eyesores in the neighborhood, even before it fell into investor Nathan Carter's hands. With fresh siding, new windows and a cute porch added just this week following BAR review in late July, the property is now up to the level of the homes that surround it and is helping make the 300 block of N. West one of the prettiest and most distinctive blocks in our neighborhood.

There's more good news up the street. The home at 427 N. West Street was also foreclosed this summer and the new owner wasted no time in seeking (and obtaining) BAR approval to rehabilitate the existing home and add another on the double-wide lot. The rented dumpster was hauled in earlier this week and this morning workmen were busy gutting the place.

Another long-empty and badly-neglected home is being brought back to life in the 300 block of N. Payne Street. After a slow start, the owner's contractor has been working hard to get the property into shape. Amazing what a facelift new siding provides to a structure.

That's especially true for 1124 Princess Street, which was completed earlier this summer and is now on the market. Before renovation the front of the home had a reasonably acceptable layout but the rear first floor included a very cramped kitchen and bizarrely configured furnace room, which people were required to pass through to get to the back yard. Those problems are now nicely solved.

The Growler wishes all of these urban pioneers well and will keep the bear toes crossed in the hopes of quick resales this fall. It will be good for all of us.


The City's Code Enforcement officers recently condemned a home in the 500 block of N. Payne Street and it's now on the market for $319,900.

Readers may remember that two registered sex offenders were living there until recently. With their departure, there is only a single sex offender currently residing in the neighborhood.

Although that may sound a little strange, it's a huge improvement from the last few years when we had multiple sex offenders scattered around Parker-Gray.


The Growler has received an update on a recent story about the registered child sex offender from Arkansas who was apparently living in the Adkins housing project.

Police officers at Tuesday's National Night Out celebration at Hunter-Miller Park advised the Cranky One that the address given by the ex-offender was bogus -- someone else lives there. The ex-con is now apparently in jail for giving false registration information to the State Police.

So the Growler is happy to report that ARHA is off the hook on this one ... and we're relieved, because giving shelter to child sex offenders in a development full of young children is otherwise incomprehensible.


A tip of the Growler's furry ears to T&ES, which recently helped neighbors in the 1200 block of Queen Street by excavating and replanting the lumpy public strip between the sidewalk and the street. Green growing things are always welcome in our neighborhood, especially grass!

Have a great weekend!