Duluth's blighted properties get demolished

By KBJR News 1

December 23, 2013 Updated Dec 23, 2013 at 11:24 PM CDT

Duluth, MN (NNCNOW.COM) - Demolition is underway of a dozen blighted properties across Duluth.

It's all through a partnership between the city and a company called Vonco Five.

Some of the 13 properties have been on the cities blighted list for up to 20 years.

However, by early next year, every one of those properties will be demolished.

"These are thirteen that have been sitting on the blighted list for a long time, that are bringing down property values in the neighborhood, that are potentially promoting crime in the neighborhood or at least the possibility for increased crime," says Daniel Fanning of the Duluth Mayor's Office.

City officials say the new space could provide an opportunity for more affordable housing in Duluth.

"There may be opportunities to have developers come in and actually build affordable housing on these lands which we know is a need in our community," Fanning adds.

Some companies are taking advantage of this opportunity and salvaging the remains inside of the property for further use.

"We are salvaging materials that can be re–used and re–sold. Things that we can use in our rebuilding projects and things that we go to our re–store where folks can buy them," says Keith Hamre of Habitat for Humanity.

"We are more interested in the older elements. And so keeping those out of landfills and being able to re–use those as well," says John McCarthy, owner of Northshore Architectural Antiques.

The next blighted property is set for demolition on Tuesday.

The city is still working with some home owners to bring their buildings up to code and avoid demolition.

Posted to the web by Gabrielle Ware