Friday, March 24, 2006

Time Heals All Economic Wounds

For you, my future constituency, to consider this weekend...if you are thinking of moving from Affton for "greener pastures" I advise placating your need for instant gratification if you want to be a savvy investor. I know that a few folks in your Future Mayor's neighborhood are headed out, but their homes have been on the market for like 8 months! Put this in your meth pipe and smoke it: The residents of our area are OLD. As if the overgrown evergreen bushes, high number of bird feeders and other outdated decorating and landscaping weren't proof enough, here's facts:

The census tracts that make up Affton represent 5% of St. Louis County, yet the Social Security Adminsitration reports that we are responsible for 7.8% of the County's recipients of Social Security checks. 33% of our households have a person 65 years or older compared to 24% of all County households. What does this mean for you, my Afftonians? If Affton were a blue chip stock I would advise you to buy and hold. After decades of declining population, the 2000 census showed that our census tracts increased by 1000 residents. However, as we look at the population of our smaller, incorporated municipalities, they are largely still declining for the same period:
Lakeshire -5.7%
Bella Villa -6.4%
Mackenzie -8.1%
St. George -1%
Wilbur Park -1.6%
(source: East West Gateway Municipal Profiles)

And overall, Affton added 1000 people. Who's making headway in the world? Affton. That's who!

As our senior residents begin to pass on, I predict that Affton will become the next highly desirable place to live in the inner ring suburbs. Affton's high density (yet generous lot sizes compared to the City) will attract those who want the convenience of City living, but desire a more suburban lifestyle. Since the City cannot offer a worthwhile school district, I propose that Affton get in to the market of attracting young families with children. This will spur a boon of developent in the area by the younger generation. We'll have a thriving new group of residents putting disposable income into affordable homes with new landscaping and Malibu lights in every yard. Can you imagine reading the real estate ads that say "sought after Affton area"? Wow, now that's a vision. I humbly ask for your vote on April 4 to make all this a reality.


At 9:41 AM, Blogger ellidew said...

I agree with your views on Afftons 'older' population. My husband and I are a 20-something couple that moved to Affton almost 2 years ago. We are also expecting our first child. We are, as you said,

"putting disposable income into affordable homes with new landscaping and Malibu lights"

Our home was a steal! After less than $5,000 worth of work our house increased in value over $30,000 in less than a year. We also installed said Malibu lights in the front of our house.

We yearn for the day when the Affton community is filled with young(er) couples with families. The day when people start chopping down their 1950's hedges and replacing them with modern landscaping. Unfortunately, I believe it is going to take more than young families restoring long forgotten homes to make Affton a great community once again.

The business community in Affton is a joke. My husband and I live close enough to the old Elks Lodge (that sits next to the new Elks Lodge) at the intersection of Mackenzie and Heege that we received notification that a request was submitted to rezone that corner residential. I have to admit we we're a little disappointed that a strip mall perhaps with a cafe within walking distance was not in the works. I view that corner as the perfect place to put a modern shopping district. It's bad enough the Fortels didn't take full advantage of their corner and instead built a windowless stucco disaster that my husband (a lifetime Afftonian) doesn't even want to frequent. The corner of Mackenzie and Gravois is a disgrace! Not only are the businesses in disarray but sitting in my car at this intersection the other day I couldn't believe the amount of trash collected on the side of the median. I can't believe Affton refuses to hire a street sweeper to at least keep our community clean! Not to mention the old Nestle plant off of Heege by Tower Tee. What a blow to the Affton economy that must be. I envision that property vacant for many years to come! THAT would actually be a great place for residential living. Perhaps building a subdivision there and leaving the corner of Mackenzie and Heege alone is the answer?

I think Affton needs not only residential revitalization but needs to find a way to force businesses to take care of their buildings and help restore a once great community to something modern families strive for.

I hope you are sucessful in your endeavor to make Affton a modern community.

At 2:54 PM, Blogger Mayor of Affton said...

Thanks for your comments! While Malibu lights are not my preference, I appreciate you holding up the values of homes in Affton. Clearly, you've done well. I hope this disclosure of increase in value does not mean you have moved. The Future First Family and I also would like to see more kids in the area. A community park would be nice...any park.

Please see my other posts in regard to helping the business community prosper. There are a few models from around the country that I am studying on the issue of businesses vacating property. I'll keep you posted.

Thanks for the support!


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