Crews set to demolish building that’s a ‘magnet’ for drugs and transients

Local News

A Fresno City councilman says a vacant building in southeast Fresno is “a magnet” for drugs and transients. 

It’s at the corner of Fowler and Kings Canyon. 

Last month, council member Luis Chavez declared it “a public health concern”, the building is now set to be demolished.

Crews were actually going to demo it Monday, but said the air quality played a factor in delaying it.

They said they will be doing the full demolition Tuesday.

From the streets you can see how rundown the building is, trash surrounding the area.

Syringes and lighters lay on the ground outside, while clothes and graffiti cover the inside of the abandoned building.

“A lot of folks drive by and they don’t see it and realize how bad it is,” said Michael Vasquez, a resident who lives nearby.

He said he discovered how dangerous it was back in March, when he was walking home from the gym.

Vasquez said he stopped to take an artistic photo of the old rustic Sunnyside Rentals building.

“A person ran out at me with a pipe,” he said. 

Vasquez said he never reported that incident but shortly after when he was walking by again, he said, “I actually had stepped in a place and I had a needle in my boot.”

That’s when he contacted District 5 Council member Luis Chavez.

“This structure back here had illegal drugs, porch pirates hanging out, transients, a lot of illicit activity and so I came out here myself, took some pictures and said this is unacceptable,” said Luis Chavez, Fresno City council member for District 5.

Last month he said he worked with the city to declare the building a public health concern.

“We have two schools in close proximity and that was a big concern because our kids walk through here every single day,” Chavez said.

He said he’s working to combat blight in his district by sending property owners a warning and making them foot the bill. 

“Take care of your property if not the city will do it and bill you for it,” Chavez said.

He said he’s compiling a list of the top 10 abandoned buildings in southeast Fresno that he will be going after for neglect and contributing to blight.

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April 29 2021 05:00 pm

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