KRM, the owners of the New Street houses and also the old De La Salle Centre, have been issued with dereliction notices by Waterford City Council, which has kick-started the demolition of the buildings.
The sites have been cordoned off by workers and the demolition is currently underway.
Acting Director of Services at Waterford City Council, Richie Walsh, said the demolition did not mean that work was beginning on the long planned for shopping centre at the site.
“The demolition of the buildings is not to be seen as a button being pressed on the Newgate Shopping Development. This is preliminary to that hopefully happening in the future.”
He said the buildings were identified as a major risk from a safety point of view, with people squatting in the premises and the council having difficulty keeping them out. As a result dereliction notices were issued to KRM and the buildings are now in the process of being demolished by the company.
Mr Walsh said the dereliction order does not include the hall in the De La Salle Centre as this is a protected structure and money had been spent on it by the company to keep it from falling into dereliction.
He said meetings have been taking place with regard to the re-design of the shopping development, and he hopes a planning application will be forthcoming in relation to a smaller, but still substancial development, in the future.