Web Staff - firstname.lastname@example.org Jen Picciano - email
CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) -
Months after Gina DeJesus, Amanda Berry, and Michelle Knight were freed from Ariel Castro, his Seymour Avenue home came crashing down, and now so will the vacant neighboring houses.
But even though much time has passed, passersby still stop and gawk on the residential street.
"We still got people stopping and taking pictures," said neighbor, Erwin Owens.
Once Independence Excavation brings down the vacant properties, they'll be part of Cuyahoga County's Land Bank until a community use is agreed upon.
Some grass and flowers may be planted initially, and there's talk of a park. But some neighbors aren't on board.
"Definitely no park…nothing with a basketball hoop or anything. It's just going to bring more people. People that said that's what they wanted don't even live around here," said Seymour Avenue resident, Javier Marti.
They say they don't want anything that will draw additional attention and traffic to their previously quiet block.
"I want to see positive not negative, that's about it," said Owens.
Others say they would support a park or a memorial.
The one tenth of an acre that was cleared as a result of Castro's house coming down isn't too much to work with, so the two lots plus the vacant adjacent one will give the neighborhood a lot more acreage no matter what they decide to do with it.
"I think it should be for the people that live here. They're the one who should decide what should be there," said Marti.