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Neighbor tiring of mess after abandoned building goes unaddressed for a decade

1 month 2 weeks 4 days ago Friday, June 24 2022 Jun 24, 2022 June 24, 2022 9:30 PM June 24, 2022 in News
Source: WBRZ

UPDATE Neighbors report that the property has been cleaned, but remains unsecured. The City-Parish says letters have been sent to the property owners and there's a blight court hearing in August.

BATON ROUGE - A closed office building in East Baton Rouge Parish has been on the city's radar for about a decade. A woman living next door says she's tired of reporting issues and contacted 2 On Your Side.

There's tall weeds and discarded trash littering the lot at 141 Ocean Drive in Baton Rouge. Judy McGehee is on the HOA at the condos next door and says she's tired of cleaning up after the neighbor.

"I'll pick up beer cans, [there's] people that have eaten stuff, thrown it all around, there's condoms, there's just a whole array of things out here that I see," she said.

There are other things she sees...

"There's people running around, going in between the buildings, and you know, when you're out here you're scared to come out at night," she said.

... And things McGehee can't see.

"The grass gets so tall that we can't see traffic coming through."

Her biggest concern is that the property isn't secure. McGehee says there are people parked in the rear of the building at all hours of the day and people living inside. It's caused her to call the city to report the problems, and she also says the police have been contacted on more than one occasion.

"They run them out, they come right back," she said.

The city-parish says it's been having issues with this location for about a decade. East Baton Rouge Chief Administrative Officer Darryl Gissel says the building on Ocean Drive has two owners and it's created an issue.

"One is a local owner who we have contact with, the other owner is basically unreachable," he said.

Gissel says it creates an issue just to get the grass cut and that pending litigation has prevented the sale of the property. While it may not look like it, the parish says it hears the complaints.

The property was last inspected for security at the beginning of June.

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