For 30 years, the city has tried to collect the growing debt of John Stevens.
Stevens is listed as the owner of 2032 Penrose Ave., a boarded-up old corner store with a bay window on the second floor and a pile of junk in the backyard. Officials say the money he owes for taxes, water bills, fines, fees and interest on the property has grown to $1.76 million.
Stevens has been dead since 1989.
The crumbling, century-old building he owned in West Baltimore is one of at least 15 properties on the city’s tax sale list that have accrued more than $1 million in debt over the past decade.
These million-dollar vacants are the most extreme examples of a far more widespread...