SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A troubled property owned by Springfield Gardens was almost fully condemned Friday.
It’s important to note that while the building itself is not condemned right now there are several units inside that have been condemned and deemed uninhabitable. The State Street apartment building, owned and managed by the notorious Springfield Gardens, narrowly missed full condemnation Friday.
Springfield’s Code Enforcement Commissioner told 22News that the City was moving forward with condemnation after vandalism ruined the building’s fire alarm system. The property had a deadline of Friday to fix the system and as of now, it appears to be in working order.
“As of today, right now the system has been fixed. It’s going to go through the testing phase now so we are waiting to hear from the Fire Marshall that’s expected to be here Monday to do an on-site test to verify that the system has been fixed,” Steve Desiletsm Code Enforcement Commissioner in Springfield said.
Less than a week ago, a fire seriously damaged the first floor of the four-story brick apartment building. No one was living in the units at the time of the fire and the units have been deemed uninhabitable and condemned by the City per a notice posted on the front door.
An inspection following the fire found numerous code violations in the building and evidence of squatters in the basement.
22News spoke to a person who lives in the apartment. He said he doesn’t feel safe. He lives on the top floor and the smell of smoke from the fire permeates his unit. “I’ve been here seven years already and in the seven years I’ve been here I have not had not one healthy, lovely day in here. I think we are going to have to stay in here even with the building being burnt. Both buildings being burnt.”
According to the code enforcement commissioner, Springfield Gardens manages about 50 buildings and 1,300 units in the City and several of their properties have been condemned in the past. The company is required to fix the condemned units within a specific time frame.
If a building is condemned by the City, it is up to the property owner, in this case, Springfield Gardens and its parent company the New Jersey-based Schweb partners, to find alternative housing for the residents.