Why Powell Poage Hamilton Neighborhood Could Benefit From La Crosse Promise The neighborhood known locally as Powell Poage Hamilton is the neighborhood in La Crosse bordered by Jackson Street (northern border), West Avenue (eastern border) and South Avenue (west and southern borders). This neighborhood is one of La Crosse’s most fragile neighborhoods. Market forces have changed this area from its original “working class” neighborhood status, to its current fragile state. The graph below illustrates just how strained it has become: As illustrated above, only three (3) homes out of the neighborhood’s six hundred and thirty five (635) are above the County median housing value! When considering the mantra that dictates real estate value, “Location-‐Location-‐Location”, it is easy to see why reinvestment hasn’t happened in Powell Poage Hamilton. Efforts by the City of La Crosse are gradually removing and replacing the “worst of the worst”, but what this neighborhood needs is a change in the overall market forces to truly see a neighborhood transformation. La Crosse Promise offers that change. What if those 90 homes under $50,000 in total assessed value were removed and replaced with homes valued at the County median? The look, feel, and impact of that volume of investment would have a profound effect! La Crosse Promise could provide such a stimulus. Currently, individual investors are reluctant to initiate housing removal and redevelopment because it is seen as a risk to be “the first one in the pool.” However, a place-‐based scholarship program that rewarded redevelopment with post-‐ secondary scholarship dollars for investor’s families could convince individual families that redevelopment in this neighborhood isn’t as risky as currently perceived. Imagine what Powell Poage Hamilton neighborhood would look like with 90 new homes! That’s almost 15 percent, or roughly one out of every six properties. Drive through this neighborhood and imagine if every sixth property was redeveloped – would that be the tipping point that would turn this neighborhood around?
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