By: Siobhan Riley
WEST MEMPHIS, Ark. - The fight against blight is taking shape in West Memphis. The city's plan to clean things up means some of its worst properties are going to be torn down. Oak Terrace Apartments will be torn down November 21st. The owner agreed to let the city tear down the building. He will place tenants at a different location. Federal funding will allow the city to tear down buildings like the apartment complex.
"They need to be down. People don't need to be living in them," said Doris Johnson. Johnson has lived in West Memphis for 47 years. She told FOX13 she's fed up with looking at the property and its busted-out windows every time she drives by Oak Terrace Apartments.
FOX13 was there recently covering a police standoff.
"So much go on. People on drugs and stuff be up in them things. Everything can go up in there," said Johnson. West Memphis Mayor Marco McClendon told FOX13 the building is one of the first on the list to be torn down. Right now, the city has $170,000 in Federal funding to tear down buildings considered eyesores. The apartment complex will cost $30,000 to level. "The major concern is just bringing back Broadway. Broadway is the gateway entrance into our city, and we just want to make sure that we put together something pleasing to the eye for the people living here as well as new industry," said the Mayor. The apartment complex is not the only business the city of West Memphis is preparing to get rid of. The city will also tear down other buildings considered eyesores. The plans add to a $100 million in new construction in West Memphis. It includes a new school, library, fire station and police substation.