WOONSOCKET, RI: A city-owned vacant residence that previously housed two apartments located at 176 River Street is set for demolition Tuesday which will restore an additional 0.05 acres or 2,309 sq. feet of open space along the Blackstone River.

“Steadfastly removing blight and density from our City streets is essential to improving the overall quality of life for all Woonsocket residents,” said Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt. “We have to continue to eliminate unsightly houses along residential roads. This particular property abuts the future segment of the Blackstone River Bikeway that will connect the Cold Spring Park segment to Market Square downtown.”

The scheduled demolition of the three-story building will mark the first to occur in 2019 and the twenty-eighth overall that the City has demolished and removed since implementing its Blight and Density Reduction Program in May 2015. To date, more than 72,571 sq. feet of land or 1.66 acres of land has been reintroduced citywide.

City Council President Daniel Gendron is pleased with the physical improvements resulting from the Mayor’s blight reduction efforts that have occurred to date.

“The removal of blight is a priority and the City has come a long way in improving its cityscape. The Mayor and I will continue to work on eliminating the vast amount of blight that unfortunately has existed for over two decades,” he said. “The rapid progress that is occurring in the physical improvement of streets where blight once sat is impressive.”

Mayor Baldelli-Hunt noted, “Some vacant, blighted properties can attract unhealthy, negative and nuisance behavior. Without question, blight has a negative effect upon the quality of life and can be very time consuming for our public safety officials. Lastly, I would like to thank each of the councilors who have supported blight and density removal over the last four years. Bottom line, quality of life is important.”