(Photo by Terri Ogan)Residents and business owners in Savin Hill are fed up with a boarded-up building that they say sticks out like a sore thumb on Savin Hill Avenue.
The one-story brick building, which is owned by former Savin Hill resident Anthony Desmond, stands out in the business district, residents said.
"It certainly has an unappealing, unattractiveness to it," said long-time Savin Hill resident Don Walsh. "It's literally a blight on the neighborhood.”
The building, which sits at Sydney Street and Savin Hill Avenue, has been boarded up for more than a year. The front part of the building was previously used as a convenience store that sold things like cigarettes, lottery tickets and had a deli counter, among other things.
Members of the community, as well as Mayor Thomas M. Menino, have attempted to intervene, but say Desmond just won't sell or rent it.
Desmond, who residents say now lives in Quincy, declined to comment.
Ken Osherow, owner of Savin Scoop, McKenna's Cafe and Savin Bar and Kitchen, said he has tried to convince him to renovate the building or put in a new business, but to no avail.
Walsh said he has known Desmond for many years and he has always been an active member of the community, especially when it comes to local donations. When it comes to the vacant building, Walsh said, "it's more of an emotional thing for him rather than a rational business decision as far as I can see."
But residents still have hopes for the neglected building. Osherow said he envisions a bakery, gourmet pizza parlor, or even a small park.
"We all hate it...It needs to be sold, or rented out to someone so that they can actually make it look nice because it's kind of like the sore of the neighborhood,'' said Savin Scoop Manager Gabrielus Laucys.
This article is being published under an arrangement between the Boston Globe and Emerson College.