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After a decade, neighbors applaud progress of Independence 'eyesore'

Monty Parker Printing
Posted at 4:51 PM, Jun 27, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-27 18:36:07-04

INDEPENDENCE, Mo.  — After more than a decade, people in Independence are pleased with the progress made on a building they once called an eyesore.

Neighbors said the former Monty Parker Printing building, located at 1106 West Lexington Ave., has recently been painted and the property has been mowed.

Before his passing, the former owner, Monty Parker, donated the building and the property to the nearby Community of Christ Church.

Elisa Breitenbach has lived next door to the print shop for more than a decade and watched it deteriorate.

41 Action News first reported the complaints in August after neighbors said their concerns were not being addressed.

"To think that this little building could sit the way it sat for so many years is just, you can't even wrap your mind around that a church would leave it like that,” Breitenbach said.

Over the years, Breitenbach said the building fell apart, becoming a dumping ground and attracting the wrong crowd.

"It was really ire to live next door to this and not know what's going to happen,” Breitenbach said.

A day after 41 Action News aired the story in August, the city of Independence boarded up the building and deemed it a dangerous building. Months later, the church removed parts of the building that had deteriorated.

"I have been thrilled that progress has been made, and actually I have chills right now just talking about it. I have goosebumps,” Breitenbach said.

Steve Graffeo, counselor to the presiding bishop at Community of Christ Church, provided 41 Action News with this statement:

The church demolished the back portion of the building and has painted the remaining brick structure. There is currently a contract for sale of the property.

After hearing the news, Breitenbach said it’s better than nothing.

"I would love to have a neighbor over here that was legit that loved it, that cared about our community," Breitenbach said. "I would love that."

The church had no other updates on the building or the future of the property at this time.

Currently, the city of Independence has 143 structures that have been designated as dangerous buildings. The city will demolish buildings that are not brought up to compliance by the owner.

Meg Lewis, a spokeswoman for the city, said it is the owner's responsibility to make any repairs. The city's goal is to demolish five dangerous buildings per quarter. It may vary from quarter to quarter depending on weather, but Independence has met or exceeded this goal the last two years, according to Lewis.