I walked down the 1300 block of Harvard this week and noticed this gap between two houses. A construction crew had started working, building a house in the gap, which is always good to see -- more neighbors and taking advantage of empty lots. I walked by a few hours later and was impressed by the amount of work they'd done in that time, the frame was already up on the first floor. I'm no construction expert, so maybe that's too fast, but I at least like seeing some work being done.
Plus it's nice to see new houses. It might mean the housing market is looking good in the area -- or that the owners of the lot got tired of getting no money for it. That to me is the weirdest thing about abandoned houses and empty lots, especially in our neighborhood -- if you have a livable house, you can make a good deal of money from it by renting or selling it. And if you don't have a livable house and don't plan to either fix it up or build a new one, why sit on it? It's crazy to me.
I know sometimes there are family disputes, like with 1483 Newton, which is such a shame. Otherwise though, I don't get it. It's work building or maintaining a house, but you get money and help the neighborhood get better.