Blair apartments demolition bid awaits approval

By Emily Le Coz/NEMS Daily Journal

TUPELO – The Blair Street Apartment buildings could disappear by autumn if the city on Tuesday approves a bid and contract for their demolition.
Century Construction offered the low bid of $74,450 to tear down the brick buildings occupying the corner of Blair Street and Clayton Avenue. Two other companies also had bid on the project.
The city purchased the property in February, along with two smaller adjacent properties on Chapman Drive, with the intention of building a community park. Most of them were vacant and dilapidated and known to attract squatters and drug users.
All three properties sold for a total of $376,000.
Municipal crews tore down the single-family homes on Chapman Drive, but the multi-story Blair Street buildings required bigger equipment, so it will contract out the work.
A demolition date hasn’t yet been set, but Public Works Director Sid Russell said it’s likely to be soon.
“I expect them to jump right on it,” he said.
Century Construction’s proposal called for the work to take no more than 30 days.
In the meantime, municipal department heads have started the early stages of designing the park. It calls for a six-acre green space with basketball courts, children’s playground, half-mile walking track and parking.
Neighbors and other stakeholders also have been involved. The hope is the park will revitalize the residential neighborhood and attract new families.
emily.lecoz@journalinc.com