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City approves demolition of blighted Duluth homes

The Duluth City Council unanimously voted to authorize city staff to proceed toward the removal of six structurally unsound buildings at a cost of up to $74,000 Monday.

On the site
Brian Bushey with the Duluth Fire Department talks during a news conference Wednesday about the city's blight reduction plans in front of a home at 820 Lake Ave. that is slated for demolition later this year. (Clint Austin / caustin@duluthnews.com)

The Duluth City Council unanimously voted to authorize city staff to proceed toward the removal of six structurally unsound buildings at a cost of up to $74,000 Monday.

The true expense of the proposed work remains uncertain, as the city has yet to seek bids from demolition contractors.

The candidate properties to be razed are located at the following addresses: 820 Lake Ave. N., 5715 Cody St., 3215 Elm St., 13002 W. Third St., 315 E. First St. and 824 E. Seventh St.

Mayor Don Ness held a press conference last week announcing the demolition plans and a campaign to step up efforts to fight blight in Duluth.

Would-be developer Tom Anderson asked for the city to delay swinging the wrecking ball at the Lake Avenue house Monday, saying he would like to work with the owner of the home "to see if I can bring it back from the brink." He believes the house, which faces the lake from just above Mesaba Avenue, could be fixed up and put back to productive use rather than becoming a demolition expense for the city. He asked for a week to engineer a deal.

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Duluth City Administrator David Montgomery said it would likely be weeks before the city was ready to proceed with demolition, as the work still needs to be let out for bids and any winning bid will require council approval before a contract can be signed. In the interim, he said the city would be willing to consider alternative proposals.

Related Topics: WEST DULUTH
Peter Passi covers city government for the Duluth News Tribune. He joined the paper in April 2000, initially as a business reporter but has worked a number of beats through the years.
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