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Dallas Cleaning Up Blighted Apartments

By Bud Gillett, CBS 11 News
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Apartment Demolition

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Saying they were ‘taking a blight’ out of a neighborhood, Dallas city officials began demolishing some rundown rental units in a South Dallas neighborhood Monday.

The first of some 23 units were taken down at the Summer Breeze Apartments along Hatcher Street.

Drug den, flop house, firetrap… All words used to describe the fourplexes which were off-base military housing generations ago.

Now virtually all of them are set to be razed.

As large equipment gnawed away at the building, city officials congratulated themselves on years worth of inspections, condemnations, and finally demolition.

“Today this neighborhood will begin to be free from fear, free from blight, free to live without this unsightly apartment complex” councilwoman Carolyn Davis said as the buildings were destroyed.

“It (The complex) had numerous code violations, electrical, structural issues, you name it,” she added.

City attorney Tom Perkins has been trying to shut the Summer Breeze Apartments down since 2004. 23-fourplexes here, and full apartment buildings a few blocks away.

“It’s been a magnet for crime… They’ve been used as drug houses, they’re fire hazards people have used these as bases to break into neighboring homes.“

Perkins says for a decade the city has demolished some 400 derelict properties, and targeted some 250 more. Including similarly styled apartments just up the street. But not all are nuisances. Several are newly rehabbed with new owners trying to keep them open as affordable housing.

Residents say the apartments are close to much-needed bus stops for the elderly to use to get to Parkland and other doctors appointments.

“They were owned by different managers, these… I don’t know why they are tearing them down,” said resident Marvin Caro.

Caro, who also does maintenance at the complex, believes some can be useful and should be saved. “It’s good for the neighborhood—it’s cheaper. “

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