Unsafe buildings in Richmond slated for demolition - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

Unsafe buildings on St James and W Marshall streets slated for demolition

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RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -

Fix it up or tear it down. That's the message from Richmond city leaders when it comes to blighted properties in Jackson Ward. The city is announcing two properties are so dangerous, they will most likely have to be demolished. One is on West Marshall Street. The other is on St. James Street.

Shrubbery, graffiti and boards surround the St. James Street property and some neighbors are concerned about the type of activity un-maintained buildings are attracting.

No one is a fan of blight especially so close to where you live.

"It makes the neighborhood look bad," said neighbor Samuel Bell.

His family has lived in on West Marshall Street since he was a teenager. It's recently renovated and appears to be well-maintained. But that's not the case just a few doors down.

"Windows out. I see the board on the doors boarded up to keep people out," he describes.

City leaders have posted the home unfit to live in and unsafe to the community. Owners are put on notice - fix the problems or demolish the property. If not, the city will and pass the bill back to the owner.

Another concern neighbors say they have with blighted properties is squatters.

"Homeless people try to find somewhere to live and if they find that spot there, they will go and lay in it for the night," Bell said.

In a note posted on the properties, the city advises if the owner doesn't take action, there could be a $2500 fine per violation if there's a conviction in court. The owner could be responsible for court costs and a lien can be placed on the owner's tax bill. The city gives owners in violation 14 days to appeal.

There's no word yet when the city expects the properties to be demolished.

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