SPRINGFIELD – Leo Florian, the president of the South End Citizen’s Council, said he couldn’t remember any other business on the corner of Main and Adams streets other than Hapco Auto Parts, and he was glad to see the long abandoned building being taken down.
“It’s time to go,” he said.
A crew from Associated Building Wreckers started taking down the one-story building on March 16.
Tina Quagliato, the city’s director of Disaster Recovery, said the before the city made the decision to demolish it, it tried to sell the property.
Additional damage from the June 1, 2011 tornado, plus a car crash into the building and then a roof failure gave the city to alternative she added. The demolition is part of the South End’s recovery efforts, she said.
She said the city would develop a Request for Proposal in order to seek a developer for the property.
Florian said, “I’d like to see some kind of retail. There are still some things the neighborhood needs.”
The total cost of asbestos abatement and the demolition is $40,699. The funding came from Community Development Block Grant disaster recovery funds, Quagliato said. The city has used this fund to remove 20 to 25 derelict building.
“I’m sure the neighborhood is thrilled [by the demolition],” Quagliato added.
Mayor Domenic J. Sarno said such demolitions “open it [the neighborhood] up. It shines a light on the positive that’s going on.”
He added, “This building always drove me crazy as I drove by.”
Sarno said the city’s strategy has been to acquire derelict properties and then remove them to pave the way for redevelopment.
“If you can’t get them rehabbed and back on the tax rolls you attract negative elements,” the mayor said.