Dilapidated apartments to be demolished after city finds loophole

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An apartment complex that has been an eyesore for one New Mexico town has been that way for years. Now, some legal maneuvering is finally getting neighbors some much needed relief.

Boarded windows, busted doors, and no trespassing signs posted all around. 

“Look at all the years it took, it’s a sore eye for anybody in the area. I’m glad they’re going to get rid of it,” said Rudy Giron. 

Residents on Cuba Street in Alamogordo are all too familiar with the Sahara Apartments.

“It’s caused a lot of problems with the cost of our homes. It’s rat infested, it’s got mice, it’s just horrible,” said Ricky Labello, who lives across from the complex.

According to neighbors, the apartment complex owner lives in Arizona. In 2010, there was a flood that caused the building to be condemned. 

Then in 2014 and 2015, the building caught fire causing more damage. Since then, they say they haven’t seen any improvements.

“From what I saw, he never upgraded anything and then he blamed it on the flood or whatever. Now it’s been like that for however many years now,” Giron said. 

Now, residents and the city are jumping with joy because of what happened Thursday in court.

“I made a motion with the judge that since there’s been no significant action taken on this case by the Kriegers, I requested that he dismiss it with prejudice since these apartments are a blight on the city and an eyesore, and the judge agreed with my motions and granted it so the case has now been dismissed with prejudice,” city attorney Petria Schreiber said. 

Since the owners didn’t show up in court and haven’t taken action in several years, the city is now able to bring it up to compliance with state law in order to demolish it.

The city manager says they already have asbestos contractors looking at the building, which they say is the first step to demolishing the structure.

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