Neighbors lose patience with vacant SE Salem house | | Statesman Journal

Posted: July 23, 2010 in News Articles


Neighbors lose patience with vacant SE Salem house | | Statesman Journal

Neighbors on a quiet, tree-lined street in southeast Salem say they’ve had enough of a two-story house on their block that has sat vacant for years.

"It’s very, very frustrating to have to live with that eyesore," said John Bickers, who lives across the street from the derelict house. "We’ve had incredible patience, but we don’t see anything being done about it. I want to see it gone."

The city has for months been considering whether to demolish the dilapidated house at 521 18th St. SE, taking the matter before the city council numerous times.

The residential structure was built in 1915 and has had various owners.

City documents show that Kevin Franke purchased the dwelling in August 2000.

Five years later, a fire at the house caused extensive structural damage, prompting the city to declare it a "dangerous" building.

"The owner of the home washed his hands of the house," said Brady Rogers, the city’s compliance services administrator. "He assumed it was in foreclosure."

The house has sat abandoned since then, mired in a battle between Franke and his insurance company and the mortgage lender, which decided to foreclose.

After sending out notices to the homeowner and neighbors about the plan to demolish the home, city officials took the matter before the council in April as part of a public hearing.

Franke attended the meeting and told the council that he had recently learned he was still the home’s owner. He said he was in negotiations to sell the property.

The couple buying the home, Keith and Sally Springstead, told the council they planned to remodel and live in the home, and they asked for an additional 90 days to begin rehabilitating the house.


I’m surprised to hear Kevin is still waging a battle with the insurance company five years later and that he didn’t even know he was still the owner. Strange, I’d know if I owned a piece of property. Funny, but this whole scenario reminds me of the A-Shed fire. LOL! Maybe Kevin has his reasons for not pursuing his claim more viligantly. Hmmm. Sometimes best to leave well enough alone, ya know? Anyway, par for the course with Kevin…he’s not too good at finishing things he starts.

  1. Ex-Salem says:

    I am suprised there is not more conspiracy theories. Obviously someone did not "complete" the job, if someone else thinks there is a chance of rehabilitating it. That must be what the 5 year battle is over. Next time, hire the right ex-cons or prison officials.

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