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Future of Independence eyesore remains unknown

Posted: 4:37 PM, Mar 08, 2019
Updated: 2019-03-08 19:52:18-05
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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — People in Independence, Missouri are upset over a building they have called an eyesore for more than a decade.

41 Action News first reported the complaints in August after neighbors said their concerns were not being addressed. The building, located at 1106 W. Lexington Avenue, sits across the street from several homes and churches.

Elisa Breitenbach has lived next door to the former Monty Parker Printing building for 11 years. Before his passing, the owner, Monty Parker, donated the building and property to the nearby Community of Christ Church .

"I have always been told that this church runs the city of Independence," Breitenbach said. "It runs the city council, it runs the city, it's what everybody feels."

Over the years, Breitenbach said the building has fallen apart, attracted the wrong crowd, and even become a dumping ground.

"For a church to allow the building to be wide open to drug deals and problems, and literally opening their arms to it, is a horrifying thought," Breitenbach said,

For years, Breitenbach shared her concerns with the city and the church, but no progress was made. In August, 41 Action New shared her story and the day after, the City of Independence boarded it up and deemed it a dangerous building.

Thursday, a bulldozer began tearing parts of it down.

"I believe that portion would not have been taken out if it wasn't for channel 41 and you," she said. "I believe your story helped put light on it."

The church declined to go on camera, but did offer a statement.

“The church is removing the wooden portion of the building, which had deteriorated. The brick part of the structure will remain, and where the wooden portion was attached the building will be sealed up.”

The church had no other information to provide regarding the future of the building, which frustrates neighbors.

"Who knows how long we are going to watch this blighted building continue to rot to the ground because they want to hoard it," Breitenbach said.