McAtee said the city has fought for years with the property's out-of-state owner, who recently entered bankruptcy. But the legal process to condemn and tear down a blighted property can be slow.
“This is a classic example of an out-of-state owner who doesn't care about the quality of a property and has gotten into financial trouble,” McAtee said. “Unfortunately, the neighbors are the ones who suffer.”
Tee Marshall lives at the Oak Wood Town Homes directly south of the abandoned apartments. He said the complex was a problem when he moved in several years ago and has gotten worse.
“There is vagrancy, drugs, other illegal activity,” Marshall said. “There are bugs, roaches, rats. Next time, who knows if the fire might jump across and spread to our buildings.”
Marshall said he's not happy about the situation, but he doesn't expect it to improve. “We've been talking about that place for years,” he said. “Nothing has been done with it.”