Yesterday evening at the Heights Community Center in Richmond Heights, residents of the Hadley neighborhood had a chance to voice their concerns and opinions on the Hadley Redevelopment Project in a sometimes contentious meeting with city officials and a representative from Pace Properties, one of two companies that are developing the historically African-American neighborhood. Menards, a hardware store, is also redeveloping the area.
Residents heard from Rick Randall, a representative from Pace to discuss the details of offers that the company is providing for residents and the overall progress of the project. Without getting into specific numbers, Randall acknowledged that without a significant number of signed contracts within a certain time period, there would be a good chance that the company would pull out of the deal. If a significant majority of residents signed their contracts to sell their homes to Pace, residents would receive a minimum of $190,000 or 2.5 times the appraised value of their home plus $50,000.
Mayor James Beck, who moderated the town hall style meeting, told residents in attendance that Menards would send contracts to residents soon, and that rumors of some residents receiving contracts this week were unfounded. Beck told the audience that a few properties received contracts under special circumstances, but that none were given specifically to residents.
Some residents complained that Pace's offer (and a potential offer from Menards) would be too low, thus residents would not afford to have a house in Richmond Heights or Mid-County in general. Some residents stated that they did not want to move at all and simply did not understand why Richmond Heights has repeatedly attempted to redevelop the area over the last decade.
Residents also grumbled when Mayor Beck stated that residents of Hadley Township reached out to the city of Richmond Heights to improve the neighborhood, and thus felt redevelopment was the approach to take. The tone of the crowds' mumbled comments would seem to indicate that many neighbors in the area felt otherwise.
So, how do you feel about the situation at Hadley Township, or in Richmond Heights in general? Do you feel that Richmond Heights is providing residents with enough cash to move out the area into a decent home, or should residents be left alone and allowed to maintain their current residence? State your opinions in the comments section and voice your viewpoints.
One side of the argument that one could make in favor of redevelopment in Richmond Heights is simple: location, location, location. Face it; imagine a potential IKEA or hardware store just minutes from I-64 and I-170, near a Metrolink station, and a major arterial street, Hanley Road. What better place to put another brick and mortar store?
However, an argument that could be made against redevelopment is: money, money, money. How much will residents receive, and is it enough to remain in Mid-County? Why waste money to build another brick and mortar store? The economy is still sluggish, and many folks are purchasing items online. Why waste money to buy things at a store, when one can save money by purchasing the same items online for less? I look forward to reading your opinions.