TIJUANA (Border Report) — The city of Tijuana has been given preliminary permission from a court to demolish a three-story building that is in danger of collapsing after recent storms washed away most of its foundation.
The apartment building has been teetering on a hilltop since Friday.
All of its tenants have been evacuated.
The owner of the property is an American citizen, who according to the city, has yet to grant her endorsement of the demolition.
Tijuana city engineers have said there is little that can be done to save the building, and that until it can be safely knocked down, it poses a risk.
Below, the heavily traveled Cuauhtémoc Boulevard has been closed since Friday for fear the building might tumble onto the roadway.
“The owner of the building is a little reluctant and afraid, but we understand,” said Tijuana Mayor Montserrat Caballero. “We are explaining the situation to her.”
The mayor said she is pleased a court has cleared the way for the anticipated demolition.
“This is an urgent matter,” said Caballero. “There are ordinances that indicate if a property poses a risk to public safety we can knock it down.”
Caballero also said they want to get this done quickly since the situation is impacting many area businesses and those who use the roadway to get around the city.
And even though it’s not necessary, the mayor says they would like to get the owner’s blessing.
“It needs to get done, this can’t be happening a lot of families have been left homeless,” said Montserrat.
The mayor also stated the state attorney general has launched an investigation to see if contractors ignored codes and whether they are at fault for the issues.
Another building, owned by the same person, already collapsed a few days ago.
In the meantime, according to the city, tenants will be given access to public money as a way to get them back on their feet.
Earlier this week, Guadalupe Saldana, who sells windows and glass from a business on the first floor of the building, said she has lost everything she owns.
“I was just a tenant, but this was my business, my legacy, it’s how my family survived for 13 years,” said Saldana.