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After several years of contributing to downtown blight, the huge construction hole between Ash and Beech streets (bounded by Fourth and Fifth avenues) is finally being filled.

The site of the planned Atmosphere condo development has remained abandoned for years after the developer went bankrupt and was foreclosed upon by an entity of Dunham & Associates. (Click here to read “What’s Up with the Big Cortez Hole?”)

AMG Demolition began removing concrete, rebar, and other debris on June 7, prior to filling the hole. An AMG worker estimated it will take up to 20,000 cubic yards of dirt and about six weeks to complete, including final paving of the site and removal of two deteriorated walkways. Fill dirt is coming from a nearby low-income-housing construction site on Cedar Street, between Fifth and Sixth avenues.

Randy Hansen, owner of California Stamp Company at Fifth and Beech, says he's “very happy” that the site will become a parking lot and that the cleanup should help increase property values.

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