My Baltimore neighborhood is really sad. It's a ghetto by any definition that doesn't mention jews. I've been busy killing weeds and clearing trash. What the area needs are better businesses. There's a scary laundromat, two unsettling take out places, the biggest ghetto liquor store/grocery I've seen (alright inside, horrifying outside), an unmarked and possibly illegal hair salon, two bars, and a sizable day care if you know where to look. Of course, there are other... lets just call them entrepreneurs of an extra legal nature. Mostly alternative pharmaceuticals and persons of negotiable affections.
One plan for a cafe turned into student housing. I think the cafe would do more for the neighborhood than the student housing. Like convince students (among others) to live here. But why start a business if there's few people living there? Seems like a good way to lose money. But we need the businesses to get people to move in. And we need the people to get businesses.
One of the bars is being sold by it's owner. I can see turning it into a coffee shop or diner. But my ideas for businesses are always foiled by bureaucratic needs: taxes, codes, permits, etc. I'd need someone who knows that stuff to run the place. And I don't know how much it'd cost to keep the place open for the full year I think it'd need to give it a chance. Not that I'd want to give up my well paying job to run a struggling cafe. Maybe I can buy the place and give two years (or more) free rent to someone who wanted their own cafe.
Mind you, this is all moot since the lady who owns the place is asking a "mere" $1.5 million for the place. Even at half that she's priced herself out of even having a chat with a buyer. I'm thinking $300K is the highest she can expect.