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Tulsa Homes Demolished To Improve Midtown Neighborhood

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Crews tore down abandoned buildings in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood. Crews tore down abandoned buildings in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood.
Demolition is a last resort. The city prefers to work with owners to clean up property like this. Demolition is a last resort. The city prefers to work with owners to clean up property like this.

Ashli Sims, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- The City of Tulsa brought out the heavy equipment to help get rid of slum and blight in one midtown neighborhood.

Crews tore down abandoned buildings in the Kendall Whittier neighborhood Tuesday. 

Cari Krenz has run Kids University for the last fourteen years. She says for most of that time she and her young scholars could see signs of neighborhood blight from the front porch.

"Here we are a good, clean facility. And we fight people driving by, and empty houses, or boarded up houses and buildings, it's tough," Krenz said.

She says the few boarded up homes on her block make the whole neighborhood look bad.

"It does. And this really isn't a high crime area. We haven't had much trouble. So it makes it look much worse than it is," Krenz said.

 But the rumble of heavy machinery had this business owner cheering.

"I'm excited. It's great. Especially for my business," joked Krenz. "But yeah, it's a good thing they're doing for us."

The city is tearing down some of the abandoned homes, but they say this is a last resort.

"And when we do not get compliance, that's when it gets to this point. But if a homeowner wanted to step up and rehab a structure to make it fit for human occupancy, we're happy to work with them," said Cathy Carter, City of Tulsa.

Two homes in the area are coming down. But Cari Krenz says with boarded up homes right next door, she hopes this is just the beginning."

"Absolutely! I could give them a list," she said.

Krenz says she hopes the bulldozers will take her neighborhood from blighted to beautiful, and hopefully boost her property value.

"I hope so. At the very least, I'll enjoy looking at it. Cause I look at those buildings everyday. And I'd rather see an empty space there with some grass," Krenz said.

Private donations and grant money help pay for the work and other beautification projects.

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