Mayor Annise Parker, accompanied by City Councilor Wanda Adams (District D) and nearly a dozen community leaders and city officials held a news conference at 10:00 AM Jan 24 across the street from 8118 Gladstone in the Sunnyside neighborhood to announce the beginning of the demolition of the blighted building, the last of the infamous “dirty half-dozen” dilapidated and abandoned buildings deemed the worst in Houston.
Following the press conference, Mayor Parker, then Councilor Adams, took the controls of a 22-ton excator and knocked down the first portions of the structure. (see video clip)
In the past three years, the City of Houston has demolished more than 1,000 blighted abandoned homes and 1,120 apartment/condominium units. The demolished “Dirty Half-Dozen” properties include:
3902 West Little York
10403 Forum Park
“We not only set an aggressive goal, we achieved it in record time,” said Mayor Parker. “Although our resources are limited, I won’t stop until we eliminate all of the dangerous, abandoned buildings threatening our safety, economy and quality of life. Now it’s on to the next dirty half-dozen.”
Mayor Parker stated that efforts to demolish the structure have been ongoing since she first took office three years ago. However, state law places many restrictions and restrictions on cities that must be addressed before demolition can begin. In this case, the city retained outside counsel in addition to focused attention in its own legal department.
The property has been a magnet for crime that threatened the health and well-being of local families. According to the Rev. James Nash of the nearby Greater Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church, who spoke at the press conference (see video) a murder victim at the motel was found across the street then a vacant lot.
But the demolition and the property across from it are examples of positive changes in Sunnyside. A new brick home wit a well-manicured lawn stands on the former vacant lot. It is occupied by the Moldano family, who graciously allowed the media to use the driveway to set up the news conference and granted interviews in English and Spanish about their appreciation for the demolition. (see video) Ms. Moldano stated that when they bought the property a year ago, the price was lower because of the eyesore across the street. She had concerns for her small children, but they also saw signs posted by the city about forthcoming demolition.