|Updated: 3/27/2012 10:33 pm
||Published: 3/27/2012 8:32 pm
LITTLE ROCK, AR - Tuesday, Little Rock city directors decided to move forward with a plan to demolish four abandoned apartment buildings in southwest Little Rock known as Sin City. They placed the vote on the April 3 board meeting agenda. The demolition and asbestos removal would cost the city about 70-thousand dollars in taxpayer money.
Sin City is known as being a hotbed for crime in the 1980s and 1990s. Today, many city directors say it still attracts criminals.
Mayor Mark Stodola says abandoned buildings are one of the most important issues the city has to address when it comes to public safety.
"The gate has got five padlocks on it, but the problem is they have made holes in the fence. They crawl through. It's full of drugs and prostitution," says Little Rock Director Joan Adcock.
"It's been an eyesore and a magnet for criminal activity," says Little Rock Director Ken Richardson.
No one has lived at Sin City since 1995, but it's obvious people are hopping the fence to get in. We found liquor bottles and inhalant cans inside the decaying apartments.
The four abandoned apartment buildings sit in complete disarray rotting on Preston Street. The owner, Pat Joyner, wanted to build single family homes there, but City Manager Bruce Moore says plans fell through five years ago after Joyner had a demolition contractor all lined up.
"People can look out their windows at night and see people going in and out of this, and they're afraid of it," says Adcock.
They are so afraid, neighbors would not talk with us on camera about Sin City. One woman told us she's lived next door since the apartments went up in the 60s, but she's received too many death threats for speaking out to let us interview her.
"We've seen it. People continue to break in and commit illegal activities," says Moore.
"In your mind, we've exhausted all remedies with the property owner?" asked Director Stacy Hurst.
“We have," said Moore.
The city says the property is likely worth less than the money it will take to clean it up.
Many city directors expressed interest Tuesday in Little Rock suing the owner of Sin City to get the 70-thousand dollars back if the city goes through with the demolition.