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Knoxville city leaders took steps toward restoring a historic building to its former glory by determining it a blight.

The Better Board Bureau awarded a certification of blight to Old South Knoxville High school on Thursday. That means the city can now acquire the property and sell it to a new owner.

The current owner, Bahman Kasraei, bought the property in 2012 but now it has more than $40,000 in unpaid city property taxes.

Director of Community Development Becky Wade says this is a step in the right direction.

"At one point it looked like it might get demolished, so the fact that it's still standing and is a historic property for this community is a positive thing and we want to make sure that something good comes out of this," she said.

Wade did not offer a time frame on when the city might sell it to a new buyer.

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