The Massachusetts Career Development Institute (MCDI) closed in 2013 and the property was abandoned by the owner. In 2016, a devastating arson related fire occurred at the property that damaged more than half of the building.
140 Wilbraham Ave was foreclosed by the City for non-payment of taxes in 2019, and the City has worked expeditiously to secure the funding to perform the demolition and cleanup. The City completed Phase I of the demolition that involved cleanup of demolition debris. The second Phase involves full demolition of all structures on the property, removal of hazardous materials and site restoration. The demolition contractor is Associated Building Wreckers of Springfield at a cost of $1,603,996.23. Once cleanup has been completed, the City will seek requests for proposals for redevelopment of the property.
Mayor Sarno states, “This blighted property has been an eyesore for the neighborhood ever since it was ravaged by a fire back in 2016. To complicate the matter, the property had been tied up in court for years due to a host of complicated issues including, delinquent taxes, numerous building and code violations, and issues involving the previous owners existing only on paper. The city filed a claim with the courts to foreclose on the property so that we could seek out potential developers and begin the cleaning up process. No neighborhood should have to live next to this monstrosity. This is the right thing to do for our residents and business community.”
The demolition work is being completed utilizing City Bond funding. All work is being coordinated with the construction of the new DeBerry Park next door. The City anticipates work to continue at the site through mid-August 2021.
Environmental oversight of the projects is being performed by ATC of West Springfield.