Ready. Set. Demolish.
“It took us 12 years to close this drug-dealing market and we’re having a parade,” said Tom Sumpter, president of the Oak Park Drug Free Zone Council. An April 14 community march on the former Washington Market was designed to celebrate the upcoming demolition of the structure, which sits closed at the corner of 2nd Avenue and 37th Street.
Though it rained for much of the morning, the march, which coincided with Oak Park’s Second Saturday Clean-up, drew between 40 to 50 people, including dozens of youth, and proceeded to Days Market, where District 5 City Councilwoman Lauren Hammond attended the symbolic demolition/photo-op. (Actual demolition of both structures is set to occur later this week, according to the Sacramento Housing and Redevelopment Agency.)
The city acquired both properties through eminent domain, and is in the process of offering the sites for development of affordable single-family homes, according to Angela Jones, SHRA spokeswoman.
Washington Market was well known as a magnet for drug dealing and had 482 calls for service in a recent six-month period.