City of Bluefield continues building demolitions

Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 4:58 PM EST
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BLUEFIELD, W.Va. (WVVA) - The city of Bluefield is continuing their efforts of beautification by tearing down dilapidated structures. On Monday they began tearing down the Long John Silver’s building on Cumberland Road.

The former fast food restaurant has been vacant for more than eight years. The building was razed to the ground, paid for through $1.5 million in funding from West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection.

“This building in particular has been in the works since late 2020 when I took over here. This is one of the first buildings I started working on. With the budget we had to tear down structures, it’s always been more to tear down commercial structures. So I focused my budget on residential structures. Now that the DEP has given us this funding this is one of the first buildings we wanted to take down with it,” said Code Official, Alex Ellison.

Ellison says they have already demolished around 20 buildings using the money from the DEP. The dilapidated house beside the old restaurant is also on the list for demolition. Ellison says these two structures are just part of the blight the city is tackling to beautify the city of Bluefield.

“There’s two more they just tore down over the hill here. I had 31 structures go out to bid on this group. They’ve already torn down, this will be the thirteenth one I think. So they’re rolling right through them,” said Ellison.

Bluefield City Manager, Cecil Marson says tearing the buildings down not only makes the city look better but it will also raise values for surrounding properties, opening the door for future businesses to set up shop.

“We’re the gateway to West Virginia coming up from the south. So we need to have this and so I’m just excited and we’re going to continue tearing these down and clean up around the city,” said Marson.

Marson says the city will continue to apply for funds from the DEP to help with tearing down dilapidated buildings.