Burlington, Iowa: Aftermath

house-wrecked.gifI mentioned the failed development in Burlington, Iowa previously. This week, the Des Moines Register reports on some of those who were kicked out to make way for the development that never happened:

Michael Massick III won’t blame his father’s stroke, and subsequent death, on the stress of leaving the place he had called home for 65 years.

But it didn’t help.

Michael Massick Jr., 94, and his wife, Mary, 95, left their duplex in Burlington’s Flint Hills Manor last spring after the city of Burlington spent $5 million to purchase their home and 50 other lower-income rental properties, relocate the tenants and then level the neighborhood for a strip mall.The mall was expected to more than triple the area’s tax income, but that hope has faded in the past month as the Minnesota developer pulled out of the project.

“It serves them right,” Massick, 65, said of Burlington city officials. “Now they’ve got an empty lot that isn’t bringing in anything.”