Springfield residents looking forward to more demos of abandoned properties

Springfield residents looking forward to more demos of abandoned properties

Neighbors who live near Johnny Lytle Avenue are looking forward to more abandoned homes being bulldozed in the coming months.

Three consecutive properties on West State Street (Johnny Lytle Avenue) have already been demolished and the lots have been cleared.

They said the properties lead to a lot of other problems for the neighborhood.

“It don’t look good for one thing, but for two, you got people going in and out and trying to sleep there overnight,” said Michael Shall, who lives on Johnny Lytle. “It can be dangerous too — to be around them or in them.”

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Sherry Gaines grew up on the street and said she’s seen properties go downhill over the years.

“It doesn’t make you feel real proud where you live,” she said.

Reasons like these are exactly why the City of Springfield approved a quarter of a million dollars late last year to tear down 40 abandoned houses across all sides of the city.

City officials previously said that many of the demos will happen in big pockets so neighbors — like Shall and Gaines — will be able to see the impact right away.

Shall said once a property is down, it opens up the door for other potential additions to the neighborhood.

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“Somebody could buy the lot and put some kind of small house on there,” he said. Or (those) gardens for the neighborhoods that feed people.”

Gaines noted small developments, like the repaving of Western Avenue, that could hopefully return the neighborhood to the state it was in as she was growing up.

She was ecstatic to learn that more demolitions will continue over the next few months into the summer.

“I love that. I like that. That’s what we need very much,” she said.

The city told this news organization previously that at any point in time, it has a few hundred properties that are on its radar to potentially do repairs on or demolish but the money will go a long way to help seeing significant improvements in neighborhoods.

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