The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA


September 25, 2012

City to get first new home in 10 years

SUNBURY — Demolition crews were out in full force Tuesday as the city is getting ready to break a 120-month lag in new-home construction.

Mayor David Persing commandeered a blighted property that sat on the corner of Washington Avenue and now is set on building the first new home in the city in 10 years.

Persing in June took a hard line on blighted properties in Sunbury, saying if properties weren’t cleaned up, he’d clean them up permanently.

After the announcement, the city released a list of 40 blighted or vacant houses targeted to be cleaned or razed; 24 owners scrambled to fix properties.

That list shrunk until a new list of properties was recently added. Sunbury has acquired at least five houses and has demolished two.

The property at 202 Washington Ave., vacant since 2004, is in the process of being torn down, and that made Persing happy.

“This is something that has never been done,” Persing said of the city building a new home. “I am thrilled this is taking place, and we have been talking about it for months and it is now taking place.”

The home, whose construction will be funded entirely by a grant, will sit on the 50-foot-wide corner lot and is being sold for $150,000, Persing said.

“We want to make it affordable for a family to come here and want to stay here,” he said. “We anticipate being able to sell this quickly, and we will then be able to generate taxes from it.”

Demolition at the Washington Avenue site will cost the city $12,000, Persing said.

“When the house sells, the $150,000 will go to the redevelopment authority, and they will have money for the next one,” he said. “This is something we are planning to do more often.”

The two-story house will have about 2,000 square feet of living area, Persing said.

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