“Out of Harm’s Way:” A new plan to deal with abandoned properties in Milwaukee

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MILWAUKEE -- Common Council President Ashanti Hamilton and Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele on Wednesday, May 4th announced some problem properties in Milwaukee are being eyed for demolition.

Abandoned and foreclosed properties can lead to prostitution, drug use and crime in neighborhoods.

“We are striving to eliminate severely damaged properties in the city that have served as hiding places for criminal behavior, and we plan to get our community out of harm’s way from threats like vandalism, theft and intimidation,” President Hamilton said.

There is a new initiative to deal with these properties called "Out of Harm's Way." The program will advocate public/private partnerships that will demolish abandoned, dangerous and unsanitary properties in the city’s "Promise Zones" and make way for new growth, opportunity and a renewed sense of safety in the city, according to Hamilton's Office.

"It is a model that can be replicated. There are other neighborhoods throughout this city that can benefit from this type of partnership," Hamilton said.

The effort is in partnership with entities like "Phoenix Investors," which purchased a blighted home that it plans to demolish and redevelop.

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According to a news released from Hamilton's office, Phoenix Investors has inked a deal with Briggs & Stratton to occupy a majority of the redeveloped property.

Hamilton also highlighted ways to prevent properties from failing in the future -- saying a big issue is trying to recognize problem landlords early, before they buy properties in bulk.