Condemned East Nashville house torn down after News 4 I-Team inv - WSMV News 4

Condemned East Nashville house torn down after News 4 I-Team investigation

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The owner paid to have the building demolished. (WSMV) The owner paid to have the building demolished. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

A house some called an eyesore for years is finally gone.

Neighbors say it wasn't until the News 4 I-Team got involved that things changed, and they're relieved they didn’t have to pay for it.

For some neighbors the sound of bulldozers tearing down 301 Grace Street was music to their ears.

“We've been wanting that house to be torn down for many years, so I really thought that day would never come,” said Richard Espenant, who lives just around the corner.

When Espenant woke up one morning and saw workers at 301 Grace Street, he couldn’t help but record it.

He sent the I-Team pictures and videos showing crews taking down what city officials called one of its many problem properties.

For Espenant, it was an eyesore.

The house once had boarded up windows, trash in the back and front yards, and debris everywhere. It sat like that for three years until neighbors called the I-Team.

“Should it have taken this long?” the I-Team’s Lindsay Bramson asked.

“No,” Espenant said. “To be honest with you, if News 4 had not intervened and helped us out during the process, I think the house would still be standing.”

Metro Codes said they have received more than a dozen complaints about this house in the last year.

Earlier this year, the I-Team reported it’s not uncommon for houses like the one at 301 Grace Street to sit abandoned for months, even years at a time. But when the city has to demolish it, it costs taxpayers.

In this case, the homeowner obtained a building permit and knocked down the house with her own money.

“What do you say to people who feel it shouldn't have taken this long for this house to come down?” Bramson asked.

“We have to give them the opportunity to appeal. She exercised that opportunity. So I can’t break the law unless it’s an emergency,” said Bill Penn with Metro Codes.

Penn said there are currently 46 other abandoned homes in Nashville on a list to be demolished. And if homeowners don't take care of it themselves and the city has to tear them down, that’s nearly $300,000 of taxpayer money.

"We have a number of steps that have to be taken before we can get to a point of demolishing, and at several points in that process the owner of the property can challenge us,” Penn said.

In the end neighbors like Richard are just happy to see it gone and even happier knowing that, in this case, it wasn't his money that paid for it.

The I-Team spoke with the property owner over the phone Tuesday. She said she didn't want to comment on the story or discuss what her future plans are with that property.

We checked and so far, there haven't been any permits pulled for any building on that land.

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