Committee Declares Six Properties Blighted
Armory, Hooper House, four others to go before planners next month.
Easton's Vacant Property Review Committee has put six vacant buildings -- including high-profile structures like the Armory -- on its blighted list.
The committee met briefly Wednesday afternoon, continuing a process that began a few weeks ago when Easton released a list of what it considers the worst vacant properties in the city.
The ones declared blighted Wednesday were the worst of the worst, said city codes administrator Cindy Cawley.
The six properties are:
- 687 Northampton St., otherwise known as "the Armory", which the city has wanted something done with for years. Its owners have said they use it for storage; to the city's way of thinking, it's been vacant for 40 years.
- 501 Northampton St., also called "the Hooper House," which owned by the nearby Rock Church. Cawley says it's been vacant since the church bought in 1981.
- he place is a mess. It’s just falling in. It’s just horrible," Cawley said.
City Councilwoman Sandra Vulcano, who sits on the property committee, said she wanted to make the mill a priority because of its proximity to Cheston Elementary School.
Cawley noted that if the building's ramshackle roof were to collapse, it would fall inwards, and not out into the street.
Also on the list:
- 675 Pine St.
- 51 S. Warren St.
- 373 W. Nesquehoning St.
This is only another step in the process. The city's Planning Commission is expected to meet next month to sign off on what the committee did Wednesday.
Once the planners and the vacant property board have given the buildings blighted status, the Easton Redevelopment Authority can begin the process of taking the properties by eminent domain.
And property owners still have a chance to rescue their buildings. In fact, the committee put a few properties on hold because the owners had begun repairs.
"As long as they're making reasonable progress we'll put them in a holding pattern," Cawley said.