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City, local contractor partner for historic "deconstruction" of blighted properties

Posted: 6:36 PM, Nov 07, 2019
Updated: 2019-11-07 23:14:50-05

MILWAUKEE — The City of Milwaukee is working to take a longer, more thorough approach to the deconstruction of blighted properties before demolishing them.

Thursday, city contractors with Spencer Renovation & Construction were joined by city leaders and they continued work on a home near 6th and Burleigh.

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“I didn’t know it would get to this point until a couple years into it,” said Billy Spencer, founder of the company when asked about his partnership with the city.

Spencer will be busy, deconstructing salvageable parts of 50 blighted homes in the Milwaukee area through April 2020. He isn’t along, employing young men from Milwaukee to work with him.

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“Everyone is happy when they walk past and see young men like this working,” Spencer said.

The 50-home deconstruction project is the first-of-its-kind in Milwaukee. However, it takes after similar initiatives in cities like Portland, Oregon.

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“They see the blight. They see the boarded houses,” said Ald. Milele A. Coggs of Milwaukee’s 6th Aldermanic District.

Now, residents will see the work...

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Spencer said the house on North 6th Street will always be remembered. He remembers it is the first opportunity for his employees to work closely with the city.

“Everyone is happy when they walk past and see young men like this working,” Spencer said.

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Deconstructed materials are either going to be sold, donated or given to those in need, instead of going to a landfill.

If you like a deconstruction completed, click here.