Buildings are bought to be demolished

By Steve Lackmeyer Published: May 9, 2008

Site was neglected
Belanger referred to the former garage as a junkyard and promised it, too, will be cleared in the near future.

The purchases will give Belanger control of one of the last stretches of blighted properties visible from Automobile Alley.

A small park separates the lots from Broadway.

"It's a great site, and that park has been unused and somewhat neglected for the last 15 to 20 years,” Belanger said.

"Nobody ever thinks about it, but it's a great 2-acre park that could be something special. We've had lots of ideas, and we're working with all the usual stakeholders.”

Brett Hamm, president of Downtown Oklahoma City Inc., said the area between Broadway and Interstate 235 is ripe for such redevelopment.

"I don't think there is any doubt there are greater opportunities there than halfway houses for sex offenders,” Hamm said.

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Former sex-offender halfway houses operated until earlier this year by Hand Up Ministries are now owned by Bert Belanger. The properties have fallen into disrepair, and Belanger is planning to demolish them and a neighboring former nursing home this summer. provided by hand up ministries

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