EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 4, 2014

Owner makes final plea to save homes

Inspector: Buildings are fire hazards, infested with rodents

HAVERHILL — The owner of two homes on a list of vacant and dilapidated buildings to be demolished by the city will make a last-ditch attempt to save them from the wrecking ball tonight.

In a letter to the City Council, Kevin McCarthy said he owns both homes at 18 Warren St. and 2 Tyler Ave. and has “qualified buyers” for each one. He said he intends to bring the prospective buyers to tonight’s meeting and will ask the council to remove or delay its demolition order for the buildings.

The prospective buyers will be there to “answer any questions or concerns ... as to their plans for the properties,” McCarthy said. The meeting is at 7 p.m. in City Hall.

In December, the council voted to demolish homes at 18 Warren St., 2 Tyler Ave., 5 Cypress St., 36 School St. and 16 Margerie St. Mayor James Fiorentini proposed the demolitions, saying the homes are the worst abandoned buildings in Haverhill and are hurting property values in neighborhoods.

Last month, councilors agreed to postpone action on the School Street home until April 29, after the owner’s lawyer told them he acquired a signed agreement to sell the property to a local contractor. A letter from attorney James Cleary III said the owner of the School Street home, Brian Langlois, is scheduled to finalize the sale of the property April 28.

On Monday, David Van Dam, the mayor’s aide, said the city has not yet begun soliciting proposals to raze any of the homes, but that he expects the bidding process for those jobs to begin soon.

Van Dam said the city has not seen any proof that the Warren Street or Tyler Avenue homes have been sold or about to be sold.

“If he (McCarthy) has a signed agreement to sell, I’m sure he’ll show it to the council Tuesday and they will consider taking the buildings off the demolition list,” Van Dam said. “But until then, we’re going forward (with the demolition process).”

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