Mayor Sarno Continues Neighborhood Improvement Initiatives
Friday, June 29, 2018
This afternoon, Mayor Domenic J. Sarno, Congressman Richard E. Neal and Springfield Community Development Officials announced the demolition of the former Springfield Housing Authority (SHA) Marble Street Apartments. City Officials included Director of Disaster Recovery & Compliance Tina Quagliato Sullivan, Director of Capital Asset Peter Garvey, Director of Housing Gerry McCafferty, Building Commissioner Steve Desilets, City Engineer Matt Sokop and Project Manager for the South End Community Center project Mark Caulton. They were also joined by Judge William H. Abrashkin, Executive Director of the Springfield Housing Authority, Captain Trent Hufnagel, State Representative Carlos Gonzalez, members of the South End Citizens Council and South End Community Center.
“The demolition of the former SHA housing units on Marble St. in our South End neighborhood area continues my administration’s efforts to enhance quality of life and public safety (C-3 Policing) for the residents and business community of the area,” said Mayor Domenic J. Sarno. “Coupled with the recent initiatives such as a new South End Community Center, a new rehabbed Emerson Wight Park, proper overall housing management of Outing Park (the former Hollywood Section) and a new and better streets/traffic connection for the Central/Marble Streets area – continued marked improvements have occurred. I am very thankful to our City team, and special thanks to Congressman Neal and Judge William Abrashkin for their cooperation and efforts to facilitate the demo of the Marble Street projects.”
“I am happy to have worked with the Mayor’s office and collaborated with my colleagues at the federal level to see this project come into fruition,” said Congressman Richard E. Neal. “This is just another way that Springfield’s South End is transforming to improve safety, quality of life, and citizen’s needs.”
The former Marble Street Apartments were acquired by the City of Springfield from the Springfield Housing Authority through the eminent domain land taking process. The demolition will include the buildings located at 111-117 Marble Street, 112-118 Marble Street and 9-11 Richelieu Place and the razing will allow for the long planned extension of Marble Street.
"What the public sees today is, 'They are taking down those old, vacant buildings.' True, but to get to this point required a coordinated, multi-year effort on the part of the Springfield Housing Authority, its residents, and the City to obtain authorization from HUD for this step. It was a long and demanding process. Big thanks to Mayor Sarno and his team for working together with the SHA to achieve this goal, and to Springfield's Congressman, Richie Neal, who played a decisive role in getting the project across the finish line. The result is a win-win-win for the SHA, its relocated residents, and the City and its historic South End,” said Judge William H. Abrashkin, Executive Director of the Springfield Housing Authority.
The newly expanded road will connect Marble Street to Ashmun Street and allow improved traffic flow from Marble Street to Central Street. Additionally, the demolition will make way for construction of a parking lot for the recently opened South End Community Center. The redevelopment of the South End has been ongoing for several years, and has also included construction of the newly opened South End Community Center and expansion of Emerson Wight Park.
The acquisition and demolition of the Marble Street Apartments required prior approval of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The Marble Street project has been overseen by a team of City departments including Disaster Recovery, Office of Housing, Department of Public Works, Community Development, Office of Planning and Economic Development, Parks, Buildings and Recreation Management and Capital Asset Construction. Additionally, the project has required collaboration with the Springfield Housing Authority, FEMA, HUD, MEMA, the South End Community Center and South End Citizens Council.
Demolition will begin on June 29th and demolition work at the site will continue through the beginning of August, with removal of debris and site restoration following the demolition.
Construction of the new road and the South End Community Center parking lot will begin in August, immediately following clearance of the site. Road construction will include installation of new roadway connecting Marble Street to Ashmun Street, the re-paving of Dale and Ashmun Streets and installation of concrete sidewalks, wheelchair ramps, drainage improvements, granite curbing and landscape trees. DPW is currently soliciting bids for construction of the roadway portion of the project and bids are due back to the City of Springfield’s Office of Procurement by July 11, 2018.
This property is being demolished and the new roadway is being constructed with Community Development Block Grant – Disaster Recovery (CDBG-DR) funding. Asbestos abatement and demolition is being completed by Associated Building Wreckers of Springfield. Environmental oversight of the project is being conducted by ATC of West Springfield. The total cost of asbestos abatement and demolition is $1,167,125.00. The estimated cost of the Marble Street roadway extension is $1.25 million.