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Tacoma, Wash. -- Vacant buildings are often considered eyesores and places that can attract delinquency and crime. It's why the City of Tacoma continues to address the issue. Using an online survey, city leaders are turning to the community to see just how involved it should get.

Inside Lilly Pad Antiques and Old Toys, owner Tom Frogge makes a living from selling old items in this historic section of Tacoma.

Right here, antique row is booming, and stores want to be on this block because that s where people are lately, said Frogge.

While Frogge overcame the recession and downtown hardships, he knows not everyone has been so fortunate. Vacancies that the City of Tacoma has been working to address as it continues to improve the city's image.

Vacant buildings don t help any neighborhood, said Tacoma City Council Member Marty Campbell. You want the buildings in your neighborhood to be vibrant to have businesses in them and have people coming and going from them.

City leaders are now considering stepping in to help improve vacant buildings, many of them privately owned. Campbell argues iconic builidngs can be a part of a city's identity.

I think in Seattle if something like the Space Needle was to be abandoned, then how compelled would the city feel to insure that iconic landmark remains something that was part of the city? he asked.

With a picture of Tacom's old city hall on sale at his store, Frogge understands the importance of saving history too. However, he knows all good things come with a price and one he isn't sure everyone is willing to pay.

I m all for it but where would the money come from? Frogge asked. Would somebody want somebody's taxes to go up to clean up a vacant lot-- I don't think they would.

City leaders say they are still in the early stages of determining how the city would fund repairs and improvements.



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