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Troublesome abandoned house along Bloomsday route to be torn down, owner says

January 30, 2019

Outside Mark Jaremko’s window sits an abandoned house on the overgrown property across the street.

Char marks from a recent transient warming fire stain the house’s white paint, and particleboard covers windows.

“It’s been a magnet for a lot of bad things,” Jaremko said, including drug deals, prostitution and squatting.

After more than 10 years of calling Crime Check about the things he observes, Jaremko will soon see an empty lot.

“We’re having the abatement done for inside of the property,” and demolition of the building will begin in a week or two, said Roger Roen, president of Roen Associates, which owns the abandoned house and the property on which it sits.

The house at 3407 W. Government Way is a common marker on the Bloomsday route. Bloomsday founder Don Kardong said people recognize the house, but he’s never received any comments about it and doesn’t expect demolition of the house will make any difference.

Roen Associates bought the property in 2007 with the idea to turn it into a profitable retail space. But within weeks, the economy crashed, Roen said.

“We got cold feet and said we better wait and see what’s going on,” he said.

Roen said he hopes to have a residence or light retail developed on the spot, but nothing is presently in the works.

“We’ll just sit on it until someone comes by and wants to develop the property,” he said.

Jaremko said he’s seen five fires at the house in the past 10 years. Last year, he paid an RV owner who had parked near the house $200 to leave.

He believes property values have suffered because of the transients who shelter there.

“It can’t be good,” Jaremko said. “When you look out your window and you see somebody taking a dump at the house, which you look right at, it can’t be good.”

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