Montgomery Focusing On Abandoned Buildings


By Josh Ninke

You can find abandoned homes and buildings all over West Montgomery. But the city is hoping to change that. 

Residents on the west side are tired of seeing boarded up windows on Norman Bridge Road and crumbling buildings on East Delano Avenue. 
"All these abandoned stores along with the houses, I just think they need to do something with them. Build our community as well as they do the other communities. We need stuff over here too," said Montgomery resident Tonithia Jordan. 
And it's not just the view that has residents worried. They also say they see a lot of crime around the vacant buildings. 
"People breaking into, robbing, and they can go to the abandoned house. They can get away with it because most it's dark when they do it," said Artavious Smith, who lives on the west side. 
But the city is ramping up demolition in the west side of town. It's a process that takes time, but city council is adding more buildings to the list at every meeting. 
"In the West Montgomery Initiative area and other areas, we've found that we've targeted some of these smaller areas where there might be a concentration of it, and actually used city forces to accomplish some of these tear downs," said Chris Conway, Montgomery's director of public works. 
Even though some of the residents think that West Montgomery is getting less attention than the east side and Cloverdale, Conway thinks that couldn't be farther from the truth. 
"That's really been where we've tried to focus, with some of these gateway pieces we have and that just made sense for us to do. I would definitely not say it's been overlooked in any way. If anything, it's had a stronger focus," said Conway. 
The city also has a number of other projects going on in this part of town as part of the West Montgomery Initiative, which they hope can revitalize the area even more.

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