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Village targets eyesores for demolition

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Maywood has put a dozen buildings on the fast track for demolition hoping to have the eyesores eliminated in short order.

The village said the 12 buildings all appear to have been abandoned by their owners and are “demonstrably dangerous or unsafe.” “These properties are eyesores, not maintained and dangerous,” Assistant Village Manger David Myers said. “A vital part of the formula (for revitalizing the community) is cleaning properties up.”

The buildings targeted for demolition as soon as this summer are:
• 2120 S. Eighth Ave.
• 440 S. 14th Ave.
• 1205 S. 16th Ave.
• 1242 S. 16th Ave.
• 1142 S. 17th Ave.
• 1817 S. 20th Ave.
• 419 S. 21st Ave.
• 1248 S. 21st Ave.
• 1304 S. 21st Ave.
• 1420 S. 21st Ave.
• 1821 S. 21st Ave.
• 1825 S. 22nd Ave.

The village traditionally goes through the Cook County Circuit Court system to condemn properties, but the process is slow-moving, often taking years. By taking the fast-track route, Myers said, the demolitions can be done much more quickly. Village Attorney Michael Jurusik noted that the municipality is at increased risk for not allowing due process by going the fast-track route, but wrote in a memo to village officials that because of the buildings’ dilapidated and dangerous state, that risk is relatively small. “For longstanding, abandoned properties, it is doubtful the owner will care enough about the structure in question to file a claim over the demolition,” Jurusik wrote.

Notices will be placed on the 12 buildings giving the owners 30 days to make repairs, demolish the structure or enclose the building, Myers said. If the building is not repaired, demolished or enclosed in that one-month period, the village then has the power to repair, demolish or enclose the building itself within four months.
Myers said the village will also work with the Cook County Sheriff Department’s Restoring Neighborhoods Workforce program to perform the demolitions once all legal steps have been taken. The sheriff’s RENEW program aims to reduce neighborhood blight in distressed suburbs while also providing vocational training to a targeted group of inmates.

The village was recently awarded a $75,000 grant for demolition, which will be used for the project, Myers said.

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