Owners fight city’s plan to demolish South Austin buildings

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The owners of eight row houses in South Austin have been caught up in a battle with the city of Chicago over plans to demolish their buildings as a way to fight gang and drug-related activity.

Earlier this month, Chicago Sun-Times columnist Mary Mitchell visited the buildings on North Pine Avenue that stretch from West Washington Boulevard to West End Avenue. The owners told Mitchell they feel forced by the city to accept amounts much lower than the thousands they owe on their mortgages.

The city is offering owners $3,300 per unit and tenants $1,500 to move out.

“We are being coerced into accepting the settlement,” Mary Woodards, who owns several units on Pine, told Mitchell. “They made us fearful if we don’t accept the settlement, we could be liable for millions in fines and court costs and they still are going to tear down the buildings.”

Click here to read the entire Chicago Sun-Times piece.

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