Neighbors 'Thrilled' to See Blighted Apartment Torn Down

By: Josh Sidorowicz Email
By: Josh Sidorowicz Email

"It's going to be a Godsend to have this gone," said Teresa Stewart.

Stewart says the old Mason St. apartment building attracts drug dealers and illegal activity to the area.

She knows all too well because her home is just a few steps away from the blighted building.

"I share a driveway with this house here," Stewart said. "People think they can do whatever they want to do, so anything goes over there."

The building has been abandoned for about four years and has become a haven for squatters, thieves and criminals. But even before it was abandoned Jackson Council member Andrew Frounfelker says it was problem.

"This apartment building's just plagued this neighborhood for decades," Frounfelker said. "It's so high-density and problematic because there were a lot of people living here that were doing less than desirable things for the neighborhood and it really brought down all the other houses around here."

Stewart said on Thursday after the demolition had begun they had an incident with scrappers trying to steal metal from the building.

The thieves were able to get away but neighbors are hoping it'll be the last time they'll have issues because of the building.

"We have put up with so much," said Dorothy Turner. "I am so thrilled because this building's coming down... it means a lot to me."

Turner said a drug dealer used to live in the one of the first apartments and she would regularly see people in the backyard doing drugs.

Frounfelker said the demolition is all part of a larger effort to revitalize neighborhoods in the city.

"Now we're not having bad guys hanging out inside empty buildings doing their illegal activities," he said. "We're really ridding the neighborhood of that... a vacant lot is still a lot safer than an abandoned building."

Federal funding aimed at tackling blight is being used along with some funding from the city to pay for the demolition, according to Frounfelker.

Demolition should be complete in about a week.

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