Mayor Domenic J. Sarno and City of Springfield Community Development and Code Enforcement Officials today announced the demolition of the long blighted property at 217 Saint James Avenue.
“The City worked with the owner for years in an effort to allow them ample time to complete renovations or demolition of this building, after years in court it became clear that the owner was unable to move forward with a solution for the property, and demolition was the only remaining option. My administration supports practical and realistic historic preservation, this building that has been abandoned for decades and deemed unsafe by the Building Department, meets neither of those criteria and I am pleased to finally see a solution to this eyesore for the abutting homeowners in the McKnight neighborhood,” stated Mayor Domenic J. Sarno.
217 Saint James Avenue is a former church, that at one time was a beautiful historic structure, but it suffered a devastating fire in the 1970s. Following the fire, the building was rebuilt over portions of the existing foundation in a modern style and the only remnants of the historic structure were bricks along the foundation. The property is owned by the All Nations Church of God and the City worked with the church for several years through the court process in an attempt to allow them to save and/or demolish the existing building. The owner has failed to comply with code enforcement orders or court agreements and has been unable to come up with the funds to either repair or demolish the structure. After numerous court appearances, the Western Division Housing Court issued a Court Order allowing the City to demolish the building.
This property is being demolished with demolition bond funding. Asbestos abatement and demolition is being completed by Associated Building Wreckers of Springfield. The total cost of asbestos and hazardous materials abatement and demolition is $104,000.
Environmental oversight of the projects is being performed by ATC of West Springfield.