Earlier this month, Jefferson City signed a contract to demolish all existing structures in the 600 block of Mulberry Street. And this week, the demolition is beginning.
After acquiring most of the properties in 2012, the city signed a contract Nov. 4 with Ahren's Inc. for the demolition of the buildings, which were vacant at the time.
Because the entire block is located in a federally designated flood plain, which prohibits the future construction of buildings in the area, the city is restricted by federal law to the creation of "green space."
The state awarded Jefferson City a Community Development Block Grant of $673,195. While the grant will not pay for all of the project, which includes acquisition and demolition, the city will use $60,000 from city development block grants to pay the remainder of the costs.
Demolition will cost $270,000.
A November 2011 fire consumed much of the 615 Mulberry St. apartment building, which is one of the buildings being demolished.
City officials hope the removal of the existing structures will reduce the crime levels in and near the neighborhood.