This section is from the book "Practical Real Estate Methods For Broker, Operator & Owner", by Thirty Experts. Also available from Amazon: Practical Real Estate Methods for Broker, Operator, Owner.
As soon as a site for any improvements has been selected, the newspapers get the news and it is published broadcast that on or before a certain day the City will erect on a certain location a fire house or a school or a police station, a bridge approach, or will tear down the buildings and develop the location into a park. The tenants see the plans clearly and immediately seek other quarters, fearing they may be turned out at any time. This is the time for the small boy and thief. The small boy thinks that the property is his, and that broken windows are expected of him or he is not living up to his reputation in the neighborhood. He lives up to his reputation all right. The thief then gets in his high art and removes not too carefully all gas fixtures, copper boilers, and lead piping, and the owner, in despair, begs the last remaining tenant to remain, rent free, to keep the neighborhood from using what is left of the building for firewood. The building is now a wreck, and nothing like it was a short time ago.