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Countdown underway to cleanup derelict St. Pierre Renovation Centre on Exeter Road

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A deadline has been given for the ownership of a prominent eyesore in south London, Ont. to address a property standards order— or city hall will.

On Feb. 16, municipal compliance officers issued an order against the ownership of 595 Exeter Rd., formerly the St. Pierre Renovation Centre, to cleanup the debris-filled property and securing the building from trespassers.

IN PHOTOS: The former St. Pierre Renovation Centre

According to Coun. Elizabeth Peloza, the city is prepared to step in next week.

“There's a legal process the city follows and a period for compliance,” Peloza explained. “Since that has passed, the week of April 14th, we should start to see some work on the site being done.”

The property has a complex history with city hall that spans several decades.

By 2015, a report to city council about 595 Exeter Rd. and the adjacent Shamrock Industrial Park described efforts by then-owner Samuel John Shirley Sr. to address soil contamination and unpaid property taxes.

The former St. Pierre Renovation Centre at 595 Exeter Rd., seen on April 11, 2024. (Daryl Newcombe/CTV News London)

His son, John Shirley Jr., recently told CTV News that his father died in 2020 and the property is part of the estate.

In recent years, the site has increasingly become littered with piles of construction debris and broken furniture.

Neighbours complain that the building attracts looters, youth, and the homeless.

“It’s piles of debris, I know there has been a fire here, and residents report directly to me about people on the site, people going through their neighbourhood,” Peloza said.

She has been working with city staff and outside agencies to ensure the safety concerns and blight are addressed.

If the cleanup is left to the city, taxpayers won’t be left holding the bill.

“The city brings in people to clean it [unless] the property owner has brought in their own people to clean it,” she explained. “The fees for that cleaning service will be billed back to the person who owns the property.”

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