SOUTH KINGSTOWN, R.I. — A property that’s been a vacant eyesore in town for years is getting some attention.
Demolition work took place just before Christmas on the building at 446 High St., the former Houston Brothers Family Restaurant.
The Union Fire District bought the property, which is on the corner with Schaeffer Street and right next door to the Peace Dale Fire Department station, in 2019 for just under $300,000.
Plans for the lot once it’s been cleared haven’t been released yet. Union Fire District Chief Steven Pinch said the ultimate goal is for the site to be used for future consolidation of some of the stations in town. The fire district expects to begin work grading and seeding the site in the spring.
“We are excited about moving forward with the next step in the process of cleaning up and converting this piece of land in town,” Pinch said. “We will continue to work on the site through the spring, and will keep residents updated as we go.”
Environmental concerns prolonged the process of razing the building, which had been abandoned for several years, with the property fenced off.
Specifically, the fire district needed to perform asbestos abatement in the basement of the structure before a contractor could obtain a demolition permit from the town. A.A. Asbestos Abatement Co., Inc. performed the work in November, contracted for $39,120.
Residents of the area said they are happy to see the building finally get demolished, and reminisced about going to Houston Brothers for Sunday breakfasts or to the Anchor Dairy Bar, which was was at the site as early as 1951.
“I’ll always remember getting breakfast at Houston Brothers before we went to jazz band rehearsals on Friday morning,” Bill Long said.