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    Category: Demolition


    Philly sets record for demolition permits this year – KYW Newsradio 1060 - December 28, 2019 by admin

    PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) Philadelphia has issued a record 940 demolition permits this year. Officials say that's contributed to a large reduction in the number of buildings in the city that are classified as "imminently dangerous," but preservationists worry about what is being lost.

    The city has cut the number of imminently dangerous buildings by more than half over the last four years from 240 at the beginning of the Kenney administration to, now, just over 100.

    Department of Licenses and Inspections spokesperson Karen Guss says that's made the city safer.

    "In a densely populated city like ours, having buildings in our communities that are threatening to come down at any time really is a public safety concern," Guss said.

    Related: City Council leans toward funding preservation efforts for Philly's historic neighborhoods

    She says the decrease is due to two factors.

    One, L&I's budget for demolitions has grown so dangerous buildings can be taken down more quickly. And two, the building boom has increased the number of private demolitions.

    "They can use that vacant lot that they create to put up new construction," she said.

    But that creates a downside, according to Paul Steinke of the Preservation Alliance.

    "In some cases, the buildings that are coming down could very well have been saved and repurposed but are giving way for new construction," Steinke said.

    Steinke points to Jeweler's Row, part of which is under demolitiondespite being stable and historic.

    The buildings never received the official local historic designation, which would have saved them. In fact, only a small fraction of the city's historic buildings have received official designation.

    While Steinke agrees public safety comes first, he'd like to see some demolitions delayed so buildings could be evaluated for historic importance.

    "This is a city that has 300 years of American architecture. It's an asset that many other cities don't have and we should not take that lightly," he added.

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    Philly sets record for demolition permits this year - KYW Newsradio 1060

    Uprooted by fire, dozens of homeless families face an uncertain future amid housing crisis – Minneapolis Star Tribune - December 28, 2019 by admin

    Standing beneath the smoke-drenched skies outside the Francis Drake Hotel on Christmas morning, Dominique Howell began to feel overwhelmed with fear and uncertainty.

    Two days earlier, Howell, 32, learned that she was pregnant, and now the apartment that took her months to find was ablaze with flames shooting out the windows. No one could tell her when or if she could return to the building to grab her few belongings; or how she would find a new place with a poor credit score amid a severe shortage of affordable rental units.

    I feel like a refugee, said Howell, who was busy sweeping the floors of a crowded room at Bethlehem Baptist Church in downtown Minneapolis on Thursday. She and more than 100 others evacuated from the hotel slept there Christmas night. Its hard to wrap my head around the fact that Ive lost everything and there is no plan for a better living situation.

    Even before the flames ignited the Drake Hotel in a Christmas Day blaze, there was a state of crisis for people struggling to find affordable housing.

    The countys population of homeless adults has surged 40% in the past year, and the housing crisis had grown so dire that Gov. Tim Walz had just announced a new public-private sector partnership to secure millions of dollars to expand the states emergency shelter capacity.

    And then came the fire, destroying an aging building that served as the countys only overflow shelter for families with children experiencing homelessness.

    Fire crews finally vanquished the blaze at 416 S. 10th St. midday Thursday, but not before the city of Minneapolis used its emergency authority to order the demolition of part of the hotel, which opened in 1926.

    Overnight, a crisis worsens

    Overnight, a vital piece of the emergency shelter system a facility that, at its peak, housed 133 families who might otherwise be sleeping in the streets was gone, and city and county officials were scrambling to find new transitional housing within an already overstretched system.

    The 111 people who evacuated from the Drake spent the night on cots in the assembly hall at Bethlehem Baptist Church. Half were children.

    The Red Cross spoke with two other facilities that offered to help people in the longer-term and was working Thursday to determine which one would be the best fit, said regional CEO Phil Hansen.

    It is still unclear, however, how the county will find new transitional housing to replace the Drake, which was considered the shelter of last resort for parents with children experiencing homelessness.

    Most of the large shelters in the Twin Cities metro area, such as the Higher Ground Shelter and Salvation Armys Harbor Light Center, accommodate single adults and do not accept families.

    About noon Thursday, children at the shelter were still running around in their pajamas, filled with nervous energy.

    This persistent homelessness and the issue of housing becomes starkly real here, Walz said after walking amid the cots and talking to displaced residents at the church. We knew it was out there. Its always around us. But a lot of times, without these tragedies, it may not come home to people the same way.

    Mike Herzing, who oversees safety and stability issues for Hennepin County Human Services, said staff had already begun assessing peoples needs.

    In the short term, theyll try to work within the countys family shelter system.

    The Drake served as the overflow, he said. As our family shelters filled up, the Drake was there to accept people who had no other places to go.

    People at the church have been asking when they can return to the Drake Hotel to get their belongings.

    But the eastern half is too dangerous to leave standing, according to the city.

    Minneapolis Community Planning and Economic Development Director David Frank said he was on the site with others from the city and made the determination for a partial demolition based on what they could see from the outside.

    The eastern roof of the three-story building collapsed during the fire, and then the third floor collapsed onto the second.

    The second floor filled with water and debris, causing the walls to bow out with bricks being pushed loose from the wall.

    Given the danger to the public who will soon be walking and driving past the right thing is to take down that portion of the building, Frank said.

    After contractors begin their work, he said, theyll know more about whether the remainder of it should be demolished.

    The Drake Hotel is owned by Leamington Co. Brian Short, the companys CEO, said Thursday afternoon that he hadnt yet been allowed inside but thought it looks like the correct decisions are being made.

    Im very grateful that there was apparently no loss of life, but incredibly sad that people who live in the margins of society lost everything, Short said.

    Its unclear what caused the fire. Investigators from the city and the State Fire Marshals office finished their on-scene work just before 1 p.m. Thursday. Minneapolis Fire Chief John Frue- tel said he expects investigators to release a formal report in a few days.

    Inspection history

    Under state law, the State Fire Marshal Division is required to inspect the hotel every three years.

    The most recent inspection, on Nov. 9, 2018, found eight code violations, state records show.

    The inspector ordered the building owner to remove obstructions blocking exits, display evacuation diagrams in guest rooms, ensure sprinkler systems were installed correctly in required areas and repair electrical hazards.

    When the inspector returned for a follow-up in June, all of those violations had been fixed, said Jen Long-aecker, spokeswoman for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety.

    Many people displaced by the fire expressed their frustration and bitterness over conditions at the Drake Hotel.

    Howell said she and her boyfriend moved into the Drake a year and a half ago because they were told it was affordable and safe.

    She said there were cockroaches in the bedroom, mice that scratched and scurried in the walls at night, and water that ran brown from the faucets. The roof of the lobby leaked.

    Even so, Howell said, she paid a monthly rent of $860, which is most of what she earns as a cook at a local restaurant.

    That place was so rundown it should have been condemned years ago, she said. It was not fit for human habitation.

    Short said that his company has leased the building to Drake Hotel Properties for roughly 20 years and that upkeep is really their responsibility, though his company does inspect the building periodically.

    David Anderson, an attorney for Drake Hotel Properties, said he did not have information about any complaints like what Howell reported, but that the CEO, Tim Treiber, worked diligently to fix anything that was flagged during inspections by the required dates. In September, a city inspector noted mouse droppings.

    Anderson described the fire as a triple tragedy. Many of the employees also lived on-site and are now homeless, too, he said.

    Moving into the future, hopefully there will be a home for them, he said.

    Staff writer Andy Mannix contributed to this report.

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    Uprooted by fire, dozens of homeless families face an uncertain future amid housing crisis - Minneapolis Star Tribune

    Demolition project intended to spur sale of former victims shelter in Tarentum – TribLIVE - December 28, 2019 by admin

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    Demolition project intended to spur sale of former victims shelter in Tarentum - TribLIVE

    Demolition of Dairy Queen in Canton expected to begin soon – North Country Now - December 28, 2019 by admin

    By Adam AtkinsonNorth Country This Week

    CANTON The planned rebuild of the Canton Dairy Queen is moving forward with the stage being set to raze the ruins of the restaurant gutted by fire a year and a half ago to make way for new construction.

    The owners, Gail Crabtree and John Putman (Audrey Guthrie, Inc. d/b/a Dairy Queen), filed a notice to demolish the burned out restaurant at 51 Gouverneur St. with the states Asbestos Control Bureau on Dec. 12.

    Murray said the owners have just started the process of obtaining a demolition permit with his office.

    According to the notice received by the state, the project start date is listed as Dec. 31, 2019 with a completion date of Dec. 31, 2020.

    The demolition work will be done by Burke Excavation Demolition Inc. of Massena.

    Atlantic Testing Laboratories of Canton is to monitor the air for asbestos during the work. JEDA Environmental of Massena will be hauling the demolition waste from the site to the Franklin County Landfill in Constable, the notice said.

    The restaurant at 51 Gouverneur St., built in 1950, was destroyed following a break-in and arson in August 2018. The structure was declared a total loss. The owners plan to rebuild the restaurant and reopen. The total project is estimated to cost $972,964.

    The village has secured a $195,000 Community Development Block Grant from the state Office of Community Renewal for the project. The money is dedicated to reimburse the owners for new equipment costs for the rebuild.

    See more here:
    Demolition of Dairy Queen in Canton expected to begin soon - North Country Now

    City hall annex demolition to finish in two weeks – Galveston County Daily News - December 28, 2019 by admin

    The city has been razing the annex behind city hall for about two weeks. But during these last few days of the year, the demolition has become more visible to drivers and passersby.

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    City hall annex demolition to finish in two weeks - Galveston County Daily News

    Consumers Energy in process of selecting new contractor for demolition of Weadock plant – WNEM Saginaw - December 28, 2019 by admin

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    Instruction

    Excerpt from:
    Consumers Energy in process of selecting new contractor for demolition of Weadock plant - WNEM Saginaw

    Owners of collapsed Hard Rock site want to demolish three of their other buildings nearby – WDSU New Orleans - December 28, 2019 by admin

    Questions are being raised about demolition applications filed with the city of New Orleans as part of the plan to tear down the partially collapsed Hard Rock construction site. The 18-story structure, which still holds two bodies of the three construction workers killed in the collapse, has had an uncertain future since it caved in Oct. 12. The city announced recently that the site cannot be safely imploded and must be demolished piece by piece. Mayor LaToya Cantrell said engineers want to bring in large cranes to pluck apart the debris and recover the bodies. She said the heavy equipment needs clear lines of sight to safely operate, which is why three buildings near the Hard Rock could be demolished.The Hard Rock site sits on the corner of Rampart and Canal Streets, with no buildings on the street-facing sides.We have our people that need to get out of that building, Cantrell said Monday. Public safety has always led us. It will continue to, but as it relates to the adjacent buildings, I would say Im absolutely in favor of the demolition should it come down to a line of sight making it safer to deal with the demolition of the Hard Rock.1031 Canal Development owns the Hard Rock site and the three buildings that could also be torn down, located at 1019 and 1027 Canal St. and 1022 Iberville St. New Orleans City Council member Kristen Gisleson Palmer said she has not been briefed on the newly filed permits but the interest of the owners is concerning.We need to do our due diligence, because basically it could become a much larger development and I think you have to be thoughtful about that, Palmer said. We have to make sure that this isnt a potential land grab.An attorney for 1031 Canal Development, Steven Dwyer, said the owners only objective is public safety. In a statement to WDSU, Dwyer said: The plan for demolition is not being developed by the owner. It is being developed by professional engineers who are working for the owner and who are working for the city. The professionals are developing from a scientific point of view the safest method for demolition. The owners are in no way influencing the work of the engineers. They are following the professional opinion of the engineers to develop the safest possible plan.WDSU requested copies of the demolition permit applications from the city of New Orleans on Monday. The city cited the recent cyberattack on city government, which has left the permitting office offline, for denying that public records request.

    Questions are being raised about demolition applications filed with the city of New Orleans as part of the plan to tear down the partially collapsed Hard Rock construction site. The 18-story structure, which still holds two bodies of the three construction workers killed in the collapse, has had an uncertain future since it caved in Oct. 12. The city announced recently that the site cannot be safely imploded and must be demolished piece by piece.

    Mayor LaToya Cantrell said engineers want to bring in large cranes to pluck apart the debris and recover the bodies. She said the heavy equipment needs clear lines of sight to safely operate, which is why three buildings near the Hard Rock could be demolished.

    The Hard Rock site sits on the corner of Rampart and Canal Streets, with no buildings on the street-facing sides.

    We have our people that need to get out of that building, Cantrell said Monday. Public safety has always led us. It will continue to, but as it relates to the adjacent buildings, I would say Im absolutely in favor of the demolition should it come down to a line of sight making it safer to deal with the demolition of the Hard Rock.

    1031 Canal Development owns the Hard Rock site and the three buildings that could also be torn down, located at 1019 and 1027 Canal St. and 1022 Iberville St. New Orleans City Council member Kristen Gisleson Palmer said she has not been briefed on the newly filed permits but the interest of the owners is concerning.

    We need to do our due diligence, because basically it could become a much larger development and I think you have to be thoughtful about that, Palmer said. We have to make sure that this isnt a potential land grab.

    An attorney for 1031 Canal Development, Steven Dwyer, said the owners only objective is public safety. In a statement to WDSU, Dwyer said: The plan for demolition is not being developed by the owner. It is being developed by professional engineers who are working for the owner and who are working for the city. The professionals are developing from a scientific point of view the safest method for demolition. The owners are in no way influencing the work of the engineers. They are following the professional opinion of the engineers to develop the safest possible plan.

    WDSU requested copies of the demolition permit applications from the city of New Orleans on Monday. The city cited the recent cyberattack on city government, which has left the permitting office offline, for denying that public records request.

    Read more:
    Owners of collapsed Hard Rock site want to demolish three of their other buildings nearby - WDSU New Orleans

    Newcastle Earthquake 30 years later, Part VI: Opposing forces of demolition and preservation – Newcastle Herald - December 28, 2019 by admin

    history, archival-revival, earthquake, newcastle earthquake, newcastle herald, 1989, kirkwood, quake

    IT wasn't always an intentional battle, but within hours of the quake a pendulum began swinging between the competing interests of demolition and heritage. The first casualty was the multi-storey Newcastle RSL on the corner of King Street and Perkins Street, its walls knocked in by a pair of crane jibs that afternoon. Its roof had caved in and engineers quickly declared it unsafe, but the speed with which it disappeared helped spark fears that the tremor would become a developers' dream to remodel the ageing city centre. Fashion designer Lindsay Otto - mother of actress Miranda - had shops on the ground floor. She said that even with the problematic upper floors gone, and the ground floor intact, she was refused entry and lost $60,000 in stock, bulldozed into rubble. But it was the George Hotel opposite Newcastle railway station - now the site of the Metro apartment block - that really got temperatures rising. Days after the quake, Newcastle council ordered it and the adjacent Carrington Chambers in Watt Street demolished. Lord mayor John McNaughton was in the Herald saying an aftershock could "happen like that" - clicking his fingers - and "those two buildings will tumble to the street". Conservationists including the National Trust disagreed. Their engineers said the buildings could be saved. Peter Evans, then chairman of the City Centre Committee and an owner of the George and its Scott Street neighbour Royal Court, was adamant they needed to come down. Still active in public life and president of the Newcastle show association, Evans is now fighting his own heritage battle over historic Broadmeadow showgrounds buildings threatened by redevelopment. Today Evans says he "likes old buildings" but that the demolitions were "necessary". He says he had just spent $100,000 on the George, including fire protection, and would go on to repair another quake-damaged building - a Menkens-designed Masonic temple in Beaumont Street that is now the Depot restaurant. Demolition of the George continued despite a Land and Environment Court injunction obtained by Maitland conservationist Dion Ackland and delivered by his solicitor, Richard Anicich - another still playing a leading role in public life, most recently as chairman of the Committee for the Hunter. Work stopped for a while on the Sunday morning, but the wrecking ball had moved from the George to the Carrington, leaving both buildings with major damage to their exteriors. Ackland, realising it was too late, withdrew the injunction and demolition resumed in front of a crowd of onlookers and protesters. In many ways, the earthquake acted as a turning point for heritage in Newcastle. While the city lost some prominent buildings that might have been saved with money and willpower, the debate brought a new focus on the city's remaining 19th century streetscapes. Leading activists included the indomitable Margaret Henry, who formed the Citizens Earthquake Action Group, and Keith Parsons, chair of the National Trust's Hunter committee. Today, Iris Capital's East End project retains its historic Hunter Street mall facades, an example of a once-reluctant city valuing its heritage.

    https://nnimgt-a.akamaihd.net/transform/v1/crop/frm/3ArTPYWJ7uTzcYp6Sg47gg6/84f25334-096d-4d60-b8d9-cec80d68abf0.jpg/r1_19_367_226_w1200_h678_fmax.jpg

    December 28 2019 - 8:00AM

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    IT wasn't always an intentional battle, but within hours of the quake a pendulum began swinging between the competing interests of demolition and heritage.

    The first casualty was the multi-storey Newcastle RSL on the corner of King Street and Perkins Street, its walls knocked in by a pair of crane jibs that afternoon.

    Its roof had caved in and engineers quickly declared it unsafe, but the speed with which it disappeared helped spark fears that the tremor would become a developers' dream to remodel the ageing city centre.

    Fashion designer Lindsay Otto - mother of actress Miranda - had shops on the ground floor. She said that even with the problematic upper floors gone, and the ground floor intact, she was refused entry and lost $60,000 in stock, bulldozed into rubble.

    But it was the George Hotel opposite Newcastle railway station - now the site of the Metro apartment block - that really got temperatures rising.

    Days after the quake, Newcastle council ordered it and the adjacent Carrington Chambers in Watt Street demolished.

    Lord mayor John McNaughton was in the Herald saying an aftershock could "happen like that" - clicking his fingers - and "those two buildings will tumble to the street".

    Conservationists including the National Trust disagreed. Their engineers said the buildings could be saved.

    Peter Evans, then chairman of the City Centre Committee and an owner of the George and its Scott Street neighbour Royal Court, was adamant they needed to come down.

    Still active in public life and president of the Newcastle show association, Evans is now fighting his own heritage battle over historic Broadmeadow showgrounds buildings threatened by redevelopment.

    DAMAGED INSIDE BUT INTACT: The George Hotel and Carrington Chambers, after the quake but before their demolition began on the weekend of January 6 and 7.

    Today Evans says he "likes old buildings" but that the demolitions were "necessary".

    He says he had just spent $100,000 on the George, including fire protection, and would go on to repair another quake-damaged building - a Menkens-designed Masonic temple in Beaumont Street that is now the Depot restaurant.

    Demolition of the George continued despite a Land and Environment Court injunction obtained by Maitland conservationist Dion Ackland and delivered by his solicitor, Richard Anicich - another still playing a leading role in public life, most recently as chairman of the Committee for the Hunter.

    Work stopped for a while on the Sunday morning, but the wrecking ball had moved from the George to the Carrington, leaving both buildings with major damage to their exteriors.

    NOT QUITE RIGHT: This Australian Financial Review article from August 1, 1991, shows how quickly the narrative changed. The George Hotel, as we have reminded people this week, was smashed to pieces by demolition, not the earthquake.

    Ackland, realising it was too late, withdrew the injunction and demolition resumed in front of a crowd of onlookers and protesters.

    In many ways, the earthquake acted as a turning point for heritage in Newcastle.

    While the city lost some prominent buildings that might have been saved with money and willpower, the debate brought a new focus on the city's remaining 19th century streetscapes.

    Leading activists included the indomitable Margaret Henry, who formed the Citizens Earthquake Action Group, and Keith Parsons, chair of the National Trust's Hunter committee.

    Today, Iris Capital's East End project retains its historic Hunter Street mall facades, an example of a once-reluctant city valuing its heritage.

    Protesters in front of the site of the demolished George and Carrington buildings, with Newcastle railway station in the background. Picture: David Wicks

    Read more:
    Newcastle Earthquake 30 years later, Part VI: Opposing forces of demolition and preservation - Newcastle Herald

    Demolition of historic building in Wellsburg is opposed – The Daily Times - December 5, 2019 by admin

    WELLSBURG At Tuesdays Brooke County Commission meeting, the curator of the Brooke County Museum voiced the museum boards displeasure in the demolition of the former Millers Tavern.

    Ruby Greathouse told the commission the museum board has received numerous calls and complaints about the buildings removal at the corner of Main and Sixth streets and members want to make clear they had opposed the demolition.

    Theyre distressed by whats occurred, Greathouse said.

    As she spoke, crews were poised to remove its remaining supports, including steel beams added in later years.

    Greathouse noted the two-story building was named a National Historic Landmark in 1978 before being named, among hundreds of other structures in the citys downtown business section, part of a National Historic District in 1982.

    Built in 1797 at the corner of Main and Sixth streets, its said to have offered food and lodging to visitors sailing to and from Wellsburg on the nearby Ohio River, some traveling as far as New Orleans.

    In the 1930s it became the Wellsburg Eagles Lodge and in 1973 it became home to the countys museum until 2012, when the museum was moved to 704 Charles St. because it offered more space.

    The commissioners said the building played a role in the citys history but hadnt been preserved in its original state and couldnt be used as part of the judicial annex they plan to build onto the nearby county courthouse.

    Tim Ennis, the commissions president, said the buildings removal was needed to support progress, just as many structures were razed to allow the construction of state Route 2 through Wellsburg.

    I think John Henderson (who built the tavern) would be amazed it was still there. If he and our countys founding fathers knew its demolition was needed for the county to advance, theyd say, take it.

    Plans call for the annex to include all of the countys courts, including the magistrate court, which was moved to the third floor of the Community Bank building when the courthouses ground floor was flooded in 2004.

    Since then concerns about that section of the bank building meeting state fire codes and handicap accessibility have spurred a desire to relocate it again.

    Last week the commissioners announced plans to return the magistrate court to the courthouse while they seek a loan for the project, which has been estimated at $5 million to $7 million.

    Greathouse noted an official with the state Division of Culture and History warned the commission in 2016 that razing the building could prevent them from securing federal money for the addition under the National Historic Preservation Act.

    Ennis said he didnt know if that is true. He said the demolition itself was funded with county money.

    Ennis said the job went to Stash Trucking of Uniontown, Pa., which submitted a bid of $37,000, significantly lower than the other bids because the contractor knew the value of the sandstone blocks of the buildings foundation and original wood inside.

    The contractor gets everything (from the razed building), he said.

    Ennis said no artifacts belonging to the museum were taken, and Greathouse confirmed the building was no longer being used for storage when the demolition occurred.

    Greathouse expressed disappointment the commissioners didnt retain some of the original material for display or use in the addition, noting such a move was suggested by the state Division of Culture and History.

    After talking to Greathouse following the meeting, county Commissioner Stacey Wise said she asked if the museum board will provide information and photos for an area of the annex depicting the buildings use and development.

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    Link:
    Demolition of historic building in Wellsburg is opposed - The Daily Times

    South Boston house where Whitey Bulger buried 3 victims faces demolition, 4-unit townhouse going up in its pl – MassLive.com - December 5, 2019 by admin

    The Boston home where late mobster James Whitey Bulger and his gang buried three of their victims may be torn down to make way for a new residential development.

    The Boston Globe reported Tuesday that the Boston Landmarks Commission recently received an application to demolish the 1,975-square-foot (180-square-meter) two-story South Boston home to make way for a new four-unit townhouse style development with eight garaged parking spots.

    The previous asking price of $3.5 million was lowered to $3,395,000, and the property is currently under agreement, according to Redfin.com.

    The home, which Bulger called "The Haunty, was once owned by the brother of a Bulger associate.

    During Bulger's racketeering trial, a witness said he saw Bulger kill three people in the house. Their bodies were buried in the basement, which had a dirt floor at the time. In 1985, when the house was about to be sold, the bodies were exhumed and reburied elsewhere.

    Bulger was convicted in 2013 for his role in the deaths of 11 people, including the three buried in the house. He was killed in a federal prison last October at age 89.

    The Boston Landmarks Commission has 10 calendar days to review applications to demolish properties to determine whether they have historic significance."

    Related:

    Read more:
    South Boston house where Whitey Bulger buried 3 victims faces demolition, 4-unit townhouse going up in its pl - MassLive.com

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