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Opinion

Neighbors want vacant building torn down

8/28/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Letter to the Editor

To the editor:

Across the street from my house in Highland Square, at 158 Edgerton Road, there is an old apartment building that has been sitting empty for at least five years. The building has been attracting squatters, graffiti and thieves. Twice in the last year or so, vans have driven up, parked in the parking lot and been filled up with fixtures, copper pipes, etc. It’s hard to tell whether these groups are legitimate or not.

In fact, it’s been difficult for the neighbors even to find out who really owns the building. Various sources claim that is has been condemned for two years, that a demolition order has been issued, and that the demolition has been put on hold because an offer has been made.

The city keeps referring us to various agencies, none of which seem to know anything. Recently, someone made a police call and an officer came around and spoke to several of the neighbors, but nothing has come of it.

The building is full of vermin and mold. It has broken and boarded-up windows. It has crumbling masonry, including the front steps. The garage doors are covered with graffiti and the front door is plastered with assorted notices from various agencies, some of which contradict each other. It is an eyesore and a danger to the surrounding residents, too far gone to be rehabbed, and we want it removed. We’ve circulated a petition that has been signed by every one of the near neighbors, but nobody is even sure who we should present it to.

The city of Akron needs to stop stonewalling and get this place torn down before it completely destroys all our property values. Highland Square is a nice neighborhood, but it will be a lot nicer when this dangerous eyesore is gone.

Reita Louis, Highland Square

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