For the first time in a long time, there are signs of progress in a cluster of unsightly and dilapidated buildings in Saint John.

In this case, progress means demolition.

On Monday morning, work crews moved into a six unit apartment building, and started moving stuff out of each room.

The company that purchased the apartment and dozens of other buildings in Saint John say they’re going to make the neighbourhood better.

“We bought all these buildings in Saint John to re-invest,” explains Dave Luten of P.M.V. Canada. “That was the purpose. It just takes time. Time and money, and you gotta have a plan, not a five year plan, but a long term plan for what’s good for the neighbourhood 20 years down the road.”

The city raised concerns about the safety of apartment building 18 months ago.

Every room is a mess of garbage, rotting food, and household items.

In the days to come, an excavator will finish off the building, but on Monday, members of Heritage Saint John looked over the building to see what items could be salvaged.

“Whether it’s the decorative trim, or the original doors, fireplaces, mantels, brackets,” says Chris Osborne of Heritage Saint John, “there’s always something that can be kept from the landfill and repurposed.”

Pat Cormier was brought up in the north end neighbourhood, she says getting rid of the building sends a positive signal.

“A little bit of chance starts a ripple effect,” she says, “and to see the community come together, and to see the change happening. It might not be the prettiest, but it’s a start.”

There are a number of other buildings in similar condition on the same block.

The company says a couple of them might be salvageable, but most of them will be demolished.

With files from CTV Atlantic’s Mike Cameron.