City tears down abandoned home, plans to transform 2,000 properties by 2019

(WISH Photo)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH)—Mayor Joe Hogsett said he’s one step closer to fulfilling a promise after a construction team tore an abandoned north side house to pieces Tuesday.

The mayor made a promise in his State of the City address to transform 2,000 problem properties by 2019. The city demolished the River’s Edge home Tuesday using funds from the state’s Blight Elimination Program.

“Two thousand is an aggressive goal, but it’s morally just and it’s the right thing to do for our neighborhoods,” Hogsett said. “We have homes in Indianapolis where neighbors are actually taking care of abandoned homes for fear of the homes falling into their property.”

The residence at 1726 River Shore Parkway was built in 2001 and foreclosed on and abandoned by 2015. Neighbors said squatters moved in and out of the home, making it a magnet for crime, until a fire caused $90,000 in damage.

“People, when they come in this way, this is the first thing they see,” River’s Edge local Gerald Webster said. “So they judge everything by the first thing they see,” Webster continued.

The first thing people see now will be an empty lot. The city’s land bank, Renew Indianapolis, is placing the property on the market.

Hogsett said one reason his goal of 2,000 transformed homes is aggressive is because cities often get tied up in litigation with landowners before seizing properties.

The River’s Edge Homeowners Association fought for years to bring the River Shore Parkway home down.

“As I drive through the city, I’m always seeing houses that are abandoned, and I’m thinking, that house is abandoned and it’s sitting next to a beautiful house,” River’s Edge resident Sherry Brown-Webster said. “What is that doing to the neighbors or the property?”

The mayor said he knows where to find the city’s blighted homes, but he’s encouraging people to call his office and point his team in the right direction.

The Mayor’s Action Center can be reached at 317-327-4622.

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