BALTIMORE (WMAR) - A vacant building in the Coldstream-Homestead-Montebello (CHM) neighborhood was brought to the ground Monday, and the community celebrated.
The crushing of the towering structure at 1901 East 31st Street was planned. City officials and residents of the CHM area say it has plagued the neighborhood and not served as an appropriate reflection of what the area really is.
"This is a gateway -- a beautiful gateway to a thriving community," said Baltimore mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake. "This (the building) doesn't represent any of it. To me, it represents the past. What were doing here today, it also represents the future of this community."
The mayor credited the community's ability to work with city officials to find a resolution to the issue she described as "simple." The mayor said she hopes to increase the appeal of the city, and her initiative to provide a better, safer and stronger community begins in areas like CHM.
"You start from a good strong community like CHM -- a place where people want to live. That's why today is so important," she said.
The tearing down of the building in CHM was a part of the mayor's Vacants to Value initiative. As a part of the initiative, Baltimore City is launching targeted code enforcement efforts to ensure that blighted, vacant buildings are rehabilitated, sold, or demolished quickly.
The program was launched in 2010.
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