In a late evening press conference Thursday afternoon, Mayor A C Wharton announced the planned demolition of several vacant structures in the Washington Bottoms area of Midtown.
Lehman Brothers Holding Company, who bought the property at auction in April, will pay for the demolition.
The 30 or so properties were cleared in 2007 to make way for a planned retail, office, and residential development that was rumored to include a Target store. But those plans failed when Florida-based WSG Development defaulted on its $14 million loan. The properties have remained vacant and have fallen into disrepair.
Last week, after a rash of arsons in the Washington Bottoms area (bordered by Poplar, Cleveland, Court, and McNeil), a group of residents living nearby met to form a new neighborhood association aimed at convincing Lehman Brothers to demolish the properties.
To learn more about the new group and the history of the Washington Bottoms area, read Bianca Phillips' story from this week's Flyer.