Tearing down Tivoly Avenue

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After several years, the city tore down the last of 98 vacant properties on Tivoly Avenue.

The demolition of Tivoly Avenue’s vacant houses is part of the city’s Vacants to Value program, which Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake launched in November 2010. Rawlings-Blake announced Thursday at the demolition that she would hold a summit this fall to highlight the nearly 5-year-old program’s progress.

While officials and neighborhood leaders cheered the clearing of Tivoly Avenue, they said progress had been slow on a block they have complained about for years. Ten houses were demolished on the block in 2008 under the administration of Mayor Sheila Dixon. Seven more were razed in 2013, according to city records, with the rest not knocked down until recent months.

Clarke, who represents the area, blamed “money and priorities” for the delays but said she was excited to see progress seven years later.

“Several years ago, it was so thick with drug dealing in the street and traffic driving slowly through that you could barely drive up this street,” she said. “So there was a lot of abandonment during that period and a lot of blight. A number of homeowners were left stranded, a lot of longtime renters as well.”