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In the US, many downtown skyscrapers are built right next to dumps, i.e 2-story dirty Chinese restaurants, liquor stores, delis etc. I find this particularly true in Chicago's financial district, near the Sear's tower. I can only conclude two things , neither of which makes sense:

1) Land price is really cheap downtown, so skyscrapers are just status symbols and not profitable compared to building low-rise structures

2) The owners of these 'dumps' are just holding out till the land prices skyrocket and they can cash out for a huge winning. They bought the places 40+ places years ago when the whole area was probably a run down dump. Is this legal to hold on to property whose value is many times your business value?
 

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2) The owners of these 'dumps' are just holding out till the land prices skyrocket and they can cash out for a huge winning. They bought the places 40+ places years ago when the whole area was probably a run down dump. Is this legal to hold on to property whose value is many times your business value?

Higher the property value, higher the property tax. So if the Chinese restaurant is holding onto the property, their business must be doing pretty well, otherwise they can't pay the tax.
 
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