Gary homes demolished to make way for redevelopment

Demolition is making way for restoration in Gary, Indiana.

The city is doing something about blight by knocking down 35 vacant properties this week. All with volunteers.

Multiple teams spread out in the Aetna neighborhood of Gary, where 85 homes were targeted for demolition because they were deteriorated, abandoned or unsafe.

Ten local construction companies agreed to do it for free, to eliminate eyesores and create space for new development.

Mayor Eddie Melton says the demolitions will immediately improve property values and, in time, encourage people to purchase and invest in the neighborhood.

Aetna was once a healthy, working-class neighborhood. It's near Miller Beach, close to Lake Michigan, major highways, and public transportation. One of the volunteers grew up here and says it could be vibrant again.

Jim Wiseman, of Rieth Riley Construction said he wanted to be part of the restoration of his old neighborhood so that future generations could raise their families in a safe, healthy place.

Some property owners committed to rehabbing their property with the city monitoring them.