(WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton announced demolition plans for a major blighted property Friday.
The property is located near Winchester Road and Millbranch Road, near Memphis International Airport.
The announcement is just the beginning in the mayor's fight for tougher laws to battle blight issues in the city.
Mayor Wharton says blighted properties in the city start from two scenarios:
"This place used to be full of kids," said Trujul Boyd, who remembers the Winchester Gardens property in Whitehaven.
But over the course of several years, Boyd saw the property deteriorate, now home to unwanted overnight guests, prostitutes, drug, use, and multiple fires.
"It shouldn't be. It should have never happened, we have honest people that live in this area," he said.
And city leaders agree.
"This is something that should just not be allowed in a place that calls itself a city," said Wharton.
Wharton said the property on Winchester Road has been sold and resold, passed down from one owner to the next.
That is a common problem with blighted commercial and residential property in Memphis.
"Here we are, the City of Memphis exhausting resources trying to chase folks literally all around the world," said the mayor. "Trying to track them down, hold them accountable. It is not easy."
Friday, the mayor announced that the city will demolish the Winchester Gardens property, and condemn several other buildings, while at the same time, work with lawmakers to toughen current state laws on property owners.
"I think it will really revitalize the area of Whitehaven itself," said Kamisha Jackson.
The mayor says they are working with the district attorney's office to condemn several properties, including Walter Simmons Estates and Woodale Condominiuns.
Demolition on Winchester Gardens is set to begin in a few weeks.
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