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South Kansas City property owner skips court for blighted property

South KC blighted property.jpg
Posted at 4:52 PM, Jul 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-07-24 18:26:32-04

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After years of sitting unattended and falling apart, change might be coming to a building in south Kansas City located just off of Blue Ridge Boulevard and 87th Street.

41 Action News first reported on the property and other vacant shopping centers in June, after receiving numerous complaints for neighbors.

Since then, nothing has changed.

“Same issues, same issues we’ve been dealing with off and on,” Karry Palmer, chairman of the Hickman Mills Neighborhood Group said.

The property has received multiple code violations from the city.

According to records from the municipal court, the property owner has six code cases. Four cases are in “warrant status,” while in the other two cases the owner plead guilty and paid the fines.

The owner did not show up for his most recent municipal court hearing on Wednesday. The city believes he is somewhere in Texas.

“Pretty soon you wander that path as best you can and you come to a dead-end, and we’ve reached that dead-end,” John Baccala, spokesman for the Department of Housing and Neighborhood Services said. “It’s incredibly frustrating.”

Baccala said the next “logical step” is for the city to file a lawsuit and ask the court for “receivership,” so that a third party can take over the property.

If receivership is granted, the property can be abated, demolished, or put up for auction. However, the process will not be a "overnight fix."

“Once again, we are going through legal channels. Once we get that third party in place and they determine how to best move forward with that property, it could be a year or two before we see any significant movement on it,” Baccala said.