Condemned homes on Partridge Street in Lebanon are finally coming down.
ABC27 News reported last month that neighbors were getting impatient. They said many of the properties were abandoned and breeding crime.
Demolition crews started tearing down the 35 houses and single garage this week. Within just a couple of days, they have leveled nearly half the street.
It is a project that has been years in the making. Many people have been anxious for the buildings to come down.
“We’ve had some worries with these abandoned homes and vacant buildings here with people breaking in, vandalism and whatnot,” Mayor Sherry Capello said. “We’ve been anxious for this to occur, so we’re very excited it started.”
Planning for the project started in 2011. The process has been a slow go for a few reasons. First, dozens of people had to move out of what the mayor calls some of the poorest housing conditions in the city.
“I understand the importance of someone’s home and I would never minimize that,” Capello said, “but we just felt that we would be able to relocate these families to a different place that would give them better living conditions, better quality of life situation for them.”
Once everyone moved out, crews had to get rid of asbestos. There was one additional holdup.
“We had to deal with some potential remains that were left behind by the Mount Lebanon cemetery back in the 19th century,” Capello said.
The demolition should be finished by the end of September.
“What we want to do is redevelop this site for some type of commercial, industrial, institutional type of use that will bring in jobs for the city,” Capello said.
The mayor said once demolition is complete, the city will start taking bids. It will be a few months until the final plans are known.