SHEDG demolishes ‘eyesore’ house

Sean C. Morgan

The Sweet Home Economic Development Group demolished the house, 1525 Main St., adjacent to Speedee Mart Saturday morning.

“Given the condition of the building, our board determined it would be best to do kind of like what White’s Electronics did a few years ago with their building downtown,” said SHEDG President Kevin Strong. White’s demolished the structure and graveled the lot following several years of vacancy in the building and a fire on the second floor.

The SHEDG Board will determine later what to do with the property.

SHEDG purchased the house on Nov. 26, 2008 for $89,144. Initially, SHEDG officials had hoped to complete a joint office project with the Chamber of Commerce, a downtown hub that would provide an anchor for commerce and tourism.

“Right now, it’s an eyesore,” Strong said. “And we want to address that.”

The SHEDG Board of Directors had explored rehabilitating the house and possibly selling it or finding another use for it.

Given the condition and interior room arrangement, there weren’t any good ideas on how to use the building, Strong said.

Repairing and remodeling the house would be too expensive, said Joe Graybill, who headed the SHEDG committee to demolish the building. “The most effective use of the property right now is to remove it.”

Selling it would leave unanswered questions.

“Would it continue to sit there, sit there in its current condition and deteriorate more?” Strong asked, adding thatt’s not something the SHEDG board wanted to see.

Sweet Home Sanitation donated the labor to demolish the house, although SHEDG had to cover the cost of taking the waste material to the landfill.