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New owner makes progress as neighbors take in open house near 53rd and Seward

Posted at 10:14 PM, Jan 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-01-13 23:20:17-05

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — We showed you inside the abandoned property near 53rd and Seward Streets when Mike Wiggins started cleaning it out last week.

Wiggins showed neighbors the unlivable place he wants to make a lovable home.

Neighbors trudged through snow Sunday afternoon to get a first-hand look at the beginning of a transformation. Homeowners like Emily Longe have waited more than twenty years to see new life come to this house.

"We've seen it in shambles so we're curious to see what it looks like now that [Mike's] doing work to it," Longe said.

Emily and her friends were amazed by the work Wiggins has done so far to clear out the trash and junk we showed you last week. Rooms like the basement got a face-lift. Omaha City Council Member Pete Festersen says he's seeing a positive result inside the house so far.

"[The city] sees this issue throughout where it's a one problem property on an otherwise great block," Festersen said. "To get something like this resolved for productive re-use is great for the neighborhood and the city."

Attention to detail is how other homeowners describe Wiggins' efforts on the house. One neighbor said Wiggins was working on the home until 11 o'clock Saturday night.

"I've had guys trimming trees and cleaning out gutters," Wiggins said. "When I say clean gutters, I mean peeling out 4 inch blocks of dirt that have been frozen."

Sunday was only part of the first step for this work in progress that neighbors will keep a close eye on.

"I wanted to give them an opportunity because they've been coming by," Wiggins said. "This is by no means the end. It's certainly not quite livable, but there's no doubt to anyone who walks through here that it will be lovable."

After asking Wiggins and Councilmember Festersen, there's no deadline at this time for Wiggins to get the job done. But the city is confident he will keep things moving along. They're pleased with what they've seen so far.