Residents in New Cassel stood outside of their homes and stared in awe as they watched a bulldozer smash into two homes last week. The incident, however, was no accident. In fact, the destruction of these two vacant homes on Sheridan Street in North Hempstead were part of an ongoing initiative to revitalize the New Cassel community.
“These homes have been eyesores in this community for far too many years,” said Town of North Hempstead Supervisor Judi Bosworth. “This was a concern that was bought to us and I, along with Councilwoman Russell, have been working hard to address this.”
“People are excited that this is happening,” said Councilwoman Viviana Russell. “We’re getting phone calls while we’re here. People are coming out and taking a look. They see things happening in the community and we really are trying to clean it up for them.”
According to Nassau County records, both homes were built in 1905 but have been abandoned since 2010. The decision to demolish these homes came to be, as both properties were deemed unsafe for residents and passersby in the surrounding area.
“I hope that the residents of Hempstead will be celebrating this,” said Bosworth. “Before we took it down we had to do asbestos removal, get rid of the vermin and make sure that as we took the house down it would be safe.”
Bosworth did verify that the homeowners were deceased and they made efforts to reach out to any immediate contacts before the decision on the demolition took place.
“We made many efforts to get in touch with the owner, with the estates, with the banks and nobody responded,” said Bosworth.
The homes were also the site of loitering and foul play, which affected the quality of life in North Hempstead.
“For a few years before, the thought was that there were squatters who were in the home,” said Bosworth. “I was talking to a resident who said just a few days ago he had seen some kids running across the roof. If you had seen the roof before it was demolished your heart would have been in your mouth.”
Going forward, Russell said the town board is looking forward to even better changes for the New Cassel community.
“Right now, we have several single family homes going up,” said Russell. “First time home buyers are going to be able to move into these homes and be able to afford it and it’s exciting. This is just another step in the revitalization process of New Cassel.”