Eighteen months after it was acquired by Evanston’s partner in a federal rehab grant program, the house at 1509 Emerson St. has been reduced to a pile of rubble.

The demolition of the property comes two weeks after complaints at a City Council meeting from an owner of a neighboring property that the city contractor had left the building open to the elements.

“If this was my property, you’d be giving me code violations,” Tina Paden, of 1122 Emerson St., told aldermen.

1509 Emerson St. after contractors determined it couldn’t be restored.

The three-unit building was originally acquired by Brinshore Development in January 2011 for $96,000 from the Federal National Mortgage Association, which had foreclosed on the property after the previous owners defaulted on mortgages, issued during the real estate boom, that totalled $711,000.

But when contractors for Brinshore started working on the building, city grants administrator Sarah Flax says, it turned out that the three-unit building had originally been built as a single-family home and had numerous structural problems dating back to the long-ago conversion.

1509 Emerson St. in a Cook County Assessor’s Office photo from before it went into foreclosure.

That made restoring the building impractical, Flax says. So now, she says, new housing will be built on the site.

The property at 1509 Emerson, Flax says, is one of four buildings, out of 100 housing units acquired under the federal Neighborhood Stabilization Program grant, that will end up being demolished.

Related stories

Recap: Evanston City Council (7/23/12)

City: Evanston on track with federal rehab grant (6/14/12)

The cost of cleanup after one foreclosure (7/25/11)

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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  1. NSP-2 looks like an increasing mess due to the city

    One has to wonder why after they started work on the house there were such hidden problems they had to tear it down?   Does the city ever both to do its homework?  Why didn't the city building inspectors look at this house after the city bought it? 

    Looking at the photo from the assessor site, the fire stair exiting from the 3rd floor does not appear to be structural sound, so much for the city inspection, anyone with any knowledge looking at the stair, could tell you that. 

    I have been hearing from community members the NSP2 program is not working at the same time it may be underminding the neighborhoods it was to be helping.   When the city did its dog and pony show on the program about 1/2 a year ago, one tenant they bought up, was not even from Evanston and was moving here and made comments that they moved here to make use of the public resources, which were not available where they lived.

    Its quite likely this program will add to the problems rather than fixing them.

    How about a real accounting of the NSP2 program by the city council not the Mayor's silly dog and pony shows with the federal officals, It would be interesting to see  how big a mess we have on our hands.  With over 100 units bought how about an accounting? 

    1. Man with the Muck-rake

      Ponzi-  "You may recall the description of the Man with the Muck-rake, the man who could look no way but downward with the muck-rake in his hands; Who was offered a celestial crown for his muck-rake, but who would neither look up nor regard the crown he was offered, but continued to rake to himself the filth of the floor."

      It is necessary to note the positive impacts on the community that this money has and will continue to make, especially to M/W/EBEs

      1. Pigs like Mud – what do city council members like?

        I recall the M/W/EBE did nothing but increase the cost of city projects by not taking the low bidder. As I also recall the position for the M/W/EBE has been elinimated by Wally.It is my estimated that this program add 10% to all city projects, which amounts to millions of dollars of extra debt we now hold, so wheres the value?

        Please explain to me what positvie impacts this program is having other than a large amount of our tax dollars being used on questionable activities? It nice the program is giving our money away, as I stated this was a mistake, if you start work on a builidng and then you need to determine you need to tear it down, how much of our tax dollars was wasted on the mistake?

        Pigs like Mud – city council members and the Mayor like patronage.When will they have a really accounting of this program? I would give up my celestial crown for an honest evaluation of the program showing how the money has been spend to date.

        By the way I found it very disgussing the city pushed through the planning committee zoning changes on a project for this program, when several citizens included our city clerk complained, about the lack of notificatioin.

        There plenty of fiscal mud to play in at the Civic Center.

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