Owner: Graffiti house going, apts coming

This home on N. Interstate Avenue has been vacant on and off for about 13 years, Sept. 10, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)
This home on N. Interstate Avenue has been vacant on and off for about 13 years, Sept. 10, 2013 (KOIN 6 News)

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Though the property owner of a house covered in graffiti, littered with trash and suspected as a haven for drug users said it will be torn down soon, neighbors in this North Portland area are skeptical.

The home on N. Interstate Avenue has been vacant on and off for about 13 years. City records show the house was scheduled for demolition in 2012.

Property owner Phil Morford of Corso LLC admits squatters are a huge problem at the house. He said he has spent thousands of dollars cleaning up the yard and boarding up the windows over and over again.

“A couple of times there would be people back there putting up plywood,” said neighbor Mike Raleigh. “Then the next couple of nights you could hear people in the morning prying open the plywood to get in.”

Due to the history of complaints filed on this property, Morford could have a lien put on the property soon if it doesn’t meet code.

Morford told KOIN 6 News a new 46-unit apartment complex will soon be going in and he plans to tear the house down in October. He said he’s waiting on the final financing papers after getting permits over the past year.

The city said those claims are true.

“There’s been permit activity about the development of a multi-dwelling structure — and there are two demolition permits [including] …one for the home,” said Ross Caron of the Portland Bureau of Development.

Neighbors aren’t holding their respective breath.

“Thirty days from now I’ll bet you nothing is done yet,” Mike Raleigh said.

“I’ll believe it when I see it,” Deric Lucas said. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

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