A manufacturing plant on the near-east side is being demolished after sitting abandoned for over 20 years. It’s the last thing needed for redevelopment to start on the surrounding area.
The RCA manufacturing plant, once a beacon of prosperity that employed hundreds of workers, was shuttered in 1995.
John Franklin Hay, executive director of Near East Area Renewal, says the abandoned building has become a refuge for criminals, attracting prostitution and drug deals.
Hay says local residents are elated about the news.
“They would actually patrol this property, they found some really terrible things that have happened here. And so this removes that part of blight," Hay says. "We now give attention to the contamination of this property, and then give attention to redevelopment.”
The 50-acre site around the plant is called Sherman Park. It’s one of a few the city is considering to be the home of a new justice center.
Demolition has already begun. Officials say it will take six weeks and cost $689,000.