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Wilmington City Council votes to demolish more "slumlord" properties

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Grace Vitaglione
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WHQR
Wilmington city council voted to demolish properties that were deemed un-inhabitable.

During Tuesday’s Wilmington City council meeting, members voted unanimously to demolish two more properties managed by Nine Lives LLC, after worrying evidence of neglect and disrepair. WHQR’s Grace Vitaglione has more.

The properties at 214 North 11th St. and 1102 Grace St. showed signs of dilapidation, including a crumbling foundation, rotten siding, exposed electrical wires, and evidence of termites, cockroaches, and rodents.

One person died in the first property in June. Both are managed by Jeremy Bailey, who was heavily criticized by the council in a previous meeting for poor conditions in other properties he managed. The city also voted to demolish those properties at that time.

Related: City Council pillories "slumlord" Nine Lives, LLC for profiting off poor conditions

Bailey did not attend Tuesday’s council meeting.

Councilmember Charlie Rivenbark suggested looking into possible criminal charges or other measures of discipline towards the property manager.

Member Kevin Spears agreed and said, "we’re responsible for doing something about people who are taking advantage of other people in this manner.”

According to Brian Renner, the city’s code enforcement officer, the property on North 11th Street was recently vacated, but three tenants still live in the dwelling on Grace Street. They will have 45 days to leave the property before it’s boarded up.

The properties will be demolished in 131 days, unless they are repaired, which Renner said isn't likely.

Grace Vitaglione is a multimedia journalist, recently graduated from American University. I’m attracted to issues of inequity and my reporting has spanned racial disparities in healthcare, immigration detention and college culture. In the past, I’ve investigated ICE detainee deaths at the Investigative Reporting Workshop, worked on an award-winning investigative podcast and produced student-led video stories.