City demolishes longtime blighted Union Street property

Feb. 4, 2016 | G. Michael Dobbs

The demolition crew made short work of the house at 523 Union St.
Reminder Publications photo by G. Muchael Dobbs

SPRINGFIELD – The house at 523 Union St., across from the Dunbar Community Center, has been an eyesore for years, but no longer.

A demolition crew took the wood frame residence down on Jan. 28.

Mayor Domenic Sarno called it “a long derelict property.”    

The job cost the city $49,000 which came from Demolition Bond funding and Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery funds.

The city owned the building through tax title and had tried in the past to sell it to a developer for renovation.

Director of Disaster Recovery & Compliance Tina Quagliato said the house next door is also owned by the city, which wants to sell it.

Sarno said the process for the city to seize an abandoned property is a long one.

“We have to follow all the proper procedures.”

He noted the Union Street corridor has been “troubled with gang and drug activity.”

Sarno said, “it drove me crazy” to come to Dunbar Community Center and see the house.

He said the city would continue to be aggressive in dealing with such properties.

As far as the future of the property, it may be purchased by abutters or may be offered for as a space for a new single family home, Quagliato said.

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