City tearing down abandoned houses in Sulphur Springs - FOX 13 News

City tearing down abandoned houses in Sulphur Springs

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TAMPA (FOX 13) -

Old, ugly and boarded up houses are doing little to improve Sulphur Springs.

"These abandoned buildings, these dilapidated homes are a cancer on the community. It is hurting the community," said Joseph Robinson, head of the Sulphur Springs Neighborhood Association.

So city leaders plan to, in a sense, remove the weeds in hopes of re-growing a garden.

"We have approximately 65 to 70 homes identified for demolition," said City of Tampa Neighborhood Services Director Jake Slater.

Mayor Bob Buckhorn announced the plans back in January. It's called the Nehemiah Project. A few homes have already been yanked down, and more will be torn down Wednesday.

"Sulphur Springs is probably one of the most blighted areas in the City of Tampa," Slater said. "We feel it's the first important step in rebuilding the area."

Not only are they eyesores, but the boarded up properties are magnets for problems.

"We hope to put residents in there, permanent residents to stabilize the community," Robinson said.

George Malcolm has called Sulphur Springs home for the last 18 years.

The house across from his is slated to come down. He welcomes the idea of a new and improved community.

"So hey, if it's not good, just tear it down, build a nice house," he said.

"It was a tourist attraction some years ago. It fell down on disrepair. It needs help," Robinson said.

The entire project will take about six months. Officials haven't decided what they'll do after the tear-down process.

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