February 1, 2017
KANSAS CITY, Missouri – On the morning of Wednesday, February 1 – just over two months after being badly damaged by a fire – the blighted property at 117 Topping in Northeast Kansas City was demolished by Midland Wrecking Demolition.
A bulldozer was parked on the premises by Tuesday, January 31, and the demo began just after 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning. Of the 825 abandoned commercial and residential structures listed in May of 2016 on the City of Kansas City, Missouri’s Dangerous Buildings list, 171 have now either been demolished or are waiting for imminent teardown. An additional 141 homes (including Dollar Home sales) have been pegged for rehabilitation and are no longer on the Dangerous Buildings list, while 305 structures are currently being processed. The final 208 dangerous buildings are still in the queue.
John Baccala of the KCMO Neighborhoods and Housing Services Department was on hand for the demolition, and noted that the two-year, $10 million Neighborhood Revitalization Plan implemented in the summer of 2016 has been progressing as expected.
“I think it’s working really well, and I think we’re right on schedule,” said Baccala. “Maybe the untold story in all of that is what we’ve heard from residents who actually see these blighted homes and buildings that have been an eyesore for the neighborhood coming down. We’ve had residents come up and thank construction crews that were in tears, literally, because they’ve waited so long to have this happen.”
Baccala added that he recognizes there is more work to do in the Northeast community. Still, he noted that proper procedures must be followed before the demolitions occur. That includes shutting off utilities, removing asbestos from the property, putting the demolition contracts out to bid, and scheduling the work around other demo’s being conducted by the winning contractor.
“It’s just hard to get them down as fast as most people would like them, but believe me, from the City standpoint we’re just as happy to see something like this come down as the neighbors here in the Northeast are,” said Baccala.