EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


April 30, 2014

School Street home to be razed, replaced with duplex

The house at 36 School St. is close to being second of five abandoned buildings saved from the wrecking ball.

HAVERHILL — A condemned and dilapidated home at 36 School Street is on its way to being demolished and then resurrected as a duplex residence by a local developer, a lawyer for the current owner told City Council last night.

James Cleary III told councilors his client, Brian Langlois, expects to finalize the sale of the School Street home to Stephen Defeo on May 7 for $75,000. The building is one of five Haverhill homes that has been on a list of abandoned buildings to be demolished for several months. In January, the council granted Langlois extra time to sell the property or fix the home.

Cleary said Defeo plans to raze the building within three months of buying it, and that he intends to build a duplex home in its place. Back taxes and other bills owed on the property will be paid as soon as the sale is finalized, Cleary said.

“The abutters and neighbors will be happy to see new housing replace this abandoned home,” Cleary said.

Councilors voted unanimously to extend the demolition order until May 20 to make sure the sale goes through. They said they would take up the matter on that date and remove the demolition order as long as the sale has been finalized.

“This is a fresh start for this property,” Councilor Michael McGonagle said. “It’s good for the neighbors and good for the city.”

The council voted late last year to demolish five homes on the mayor’s list of Haverhill’s most deteriorated and dangerous abandoned buildings. The other properties targeted for demolition were: 18 Warren St., 2 Tyler Ave., 5 Cypress St. and 2 Margerie St.

One home on the list has already been saved and another appears headed in that direction.

Councilor Thomas Sullivan, a real estate attorney, said the sale of 18 Warren St. was finalized yesterday and that there is a “prospective buyer” for 2 Tyler Ave.

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