HOUSTON (CBS Houston) On Wednesday, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Houston community officials kicked off demolition of the last of a group of buildings that were once referred to as the “Dirty Half Dozen”. The endeavor of demolishing the old and unoccupied buildings was one that spanned several years and Wednesday’s kick off demolition event of the abandoned Aries Motel marked a milestone for Houston as well as Mayor Parker.
“Commanding the controls of a 22-ton excavator, Houston Mayor Annise Parker and Council Member Wanda Adams – District D today kicked off the demolition of the dangerous and abandoned Aries Motel at 8118 Gladstone in Sunnyside with other community leaders and members in attendance. The demolition marks the successful completion of Mayor Parker’s goal to demolish the six most blighted multifamily/commercial properties in Houston known as the ‘Dirty Half-Dozen,'”added officials with the office of Mayor Parker.
According to Houston city officials, the current “Dirty Half Dozen” were buildings in Houston located at the following addresses:
1. 8118 Gladstone
2. 3902 West Little York
3. 10403 Forum Park
4. 3605 Crosstimbers
5. 5292 Memorial
6. 12540 Hillcroft
Despite several obstacles, Mayor Parker said that Wednesday’s demolition of the abandoned building is being seen as a triumphant accomplishment: “We not only set an aggressive goal, we achieved it in record time,” said Mayor Parker. “Although our resources are limited, I won’t stop until we eliminate all of the dangerous, abandoned buildings threatening our safety, economy and quality of life. Now it’s on to the next dirty half-dozen.”
The abandoned and dilapidated Aries Motel was located in the Sunnyside neighborhood and stood there for 31 years; it was vacant for that last three years. Houston city officials stated that the building had become a haven for crime, which threatened the well being of surrounding families and residents.
“I want to thank the Mayor for all that she has done,” said Pastor James Nash of the nearby Greater Saint Paul Missionary Baptist Church. “She [Mayor Parker] is familiar with this area and has been working with us for years. This blighted motel had shootings, drugs and prostitution. This is a great day for Sunnyside and all of Houston.”
Houston city officials added that the complete demolition efforts of the two-story building consisting of 27 units, its foundation as well as parking area will take approximately one week to complete.
“The City’s Housing and Community Development Department is providing $28,000 of federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds for the demolition,” added officials with the city of Houston.
The Department of Neighborhoods is currently developing a more comprehensive list of the new “Dirty Half-Dozen” and is expected to release it in the near future.