Demolition began Monday at a vacant, fire-damaged house on Adams Street in the South End as part of a continuing effort by the city to combat blight in various neighborhoods.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and Housing and Code Enforcement officials gathered outside the house at 17 Adams St. to announce and view the start of that demolition there and to announce plans to demolish a house at 19 Pine Street Court, in Six Corners.
“If a home or a building cannot be properly put back on the tax rolls for rehab or reconstruction, and they continue to be a blight to the neighborhood and public safety issue, we are going to knock them down,” Sarno said.
Both are tax-foreclosed properties and owned by the city, with demolition afforded through federal funds under the Community Development Block Grant Disaster Recovery fund. Asbestos abatement and demolition is costing $33,400 at 17 Adams St., and $26,900 at 19 Pine Street Court.
Associated Building Wreckers of Springfield was hired for the demolition projects.
David Cotter, the city’s deputy director of code enforcement, said the crackdown on blighted properties will continue “neighborhood by neighborhood, street by street, house by house.”
Steven Desilets, code enforcement commissioner, said the crackdown is a team effort involving various departments including code enforcement, housing, and the police.
Tina Quagliato, the city’s director of disaster recovery, said the Adams Street house is adjacent to two other city-owned properties, and is across from the former HAPCO building at Main and Adams Street, also slated for demolition.
The house at 17 Adams St., was damaged in multiple fires, and had problems of trespassing and squatters, Quagliato said.
Plans for the various South End sites are not yet finalized.
Sarno said the latest demolition on Adams Street also creates a larger clear view of Outing Park in the Hollywood section of the South End.
Geraldine McCafferty, the city’s director of housing, said that blight reduction efforts in the South End tie in with a large public safety initiative in that area, assisted by the Department of Justice grant.