SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — Demolition crews are taking down the home on the corner of National Avenue and Sunshine Street that has been the subject of much debate for months.

Last month, the developers who bought the property boarded it up and installed a chain-link fence around the yard.

The University Heights Neighborhood Association has opposed the rezoning of the area from residences to general retail. Neither the property nor the four adjacent residences that the developers have purchased, have yet to be rezoned.

Ralph Duda III, one of the developers, said that they moved forward with the demolition because the building is uninhabitable.

“It sat vacant for six years before we bought it,” Duda said. “Hundreds of realtors showed the house … yet no one chose to buy it.”

Duda included several problems the property has faced:

  • Wood rot.
  • Trees growing through the roof.
  • Uneven floors on every level due to settling.
  • Old piping.
  • No insulation.
  • Inefficient windows.
  • Constant squatters and break-ins.
  • Noise, including sirens, helicopters, and motorcycles.
  • Hazardous entry and exit from both driveways
  • “List goes on…”

“We do not believe it is logical to keep this corner residential,” Duda wrote in a statement. “Our company supports economic development. We support improving this corner and we will be exhausting our efforts to prove our case that it should be rezoned for commercial use. It is our firm belief that the highest and best use for the Northwest corner of National & Sunshine is General Retail.

We hope you can understand our logic for demolishing this building. Despite what you might read on social media, out motives are pure and this is not out of spite.”

-Ralph Duda III