ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – City leaders say an old boutique in the northeast Albuquerque has become a hot spot for crime.
Businesses next to the problem property near I-40 and San Mateo said they have to put up fencing and barbed wire to keep homeless people out, and they have gotten used to finding syringes in their parking lots. Now, the city is working to tear the place down.
“It should be taken down because nothing good happens there,” local business owner Marcus D’Ambrosio said.
The property has graffiti, boarded up walls and trash all over the place.
“It is slowly becoming more and more of an eyesore,” D’Ambrosio said.
The vacant building is right across the street from Pavilions at San Mateo, a busy shopping center.
“It is definitely not a comforting situation,” D’Ambrosio said.
“It brings the area down in my opinion and brings strange traffic.”
D’Ambrosio owns D’Ambrosio Designs Hair Studio in the shopping center. He said the vacant building has been that way for years.
“We have seen prostitution over there,” D’Ambrosio said. “We have seen people doing drugs over there or just passed out.”
The city said since May 2017 there have been nearly 50 calls for service between Albuquerque Police and code enforcement, including several fires costing the city time and resources.
“There are situations where we either have homeless camps set up or somebody inside the building that is not supposed to be there,” Brennon Williams, the city’s planning department director, said.
Williams said there have been around $10,000 worth of liens on the property to pay for clean up over the years. Since the owner has not fixed the problem, the city wants to demolish it.
“I think that would be a great idea,” D’Ambrosio said.
D’Ambrosio said after seven years in business here, he has considered relocating due to the problem property. He is hopeful it will be torn down.
“It would make me want to stay a lot longer,” D’Ambrosio said.
The city’s planning department said city council will make a decision at the beginning of the year on whether the building will be condemned.
The city said it is cracking down on problem commercial properties throughout the metro.
City Councilor Pat Davis gave two 7-Eleven’s a 10-day notice Tuesday to clean up or get taken to court. This comes after reports of shootings, thefts and assaults at those locations.