TEXARKANA, Ar. (KSLA) - City officials in Texarkana, Arkansas may have to go to court to clean up what some are calling an eyesore — and local business owners say the sooner, the better.
Joseph Raymond is an artist with a gallery in downtown Texarkana. His gallery is filled with art — but first, you have to get past the barriers and caution tape outside.
“It’s a little frustrating for most of us who have businesses here in downtown,” Raymond said. “But I know it has been a little bit of an eyesore and it has been an inconvenience for those of us who are parking.”
In August, the roof of the Regency Hosue Building in downtown Texarkana collapsed. After the incident, city leaders deemed the area unsafe, thus blocking portions of the 100 block of East Broad to vehicle and foot traffic.
City officials have worked to demolish the Regency House Building - but have run into a roadblock.
Texarkana, Arkansas City Manager Kenny Haskin said the city was in the position to acquire the building, however, the building owners came in and paid the back taxes.
“That put the city in a very difficult position,” Haskin said. “Because now we are going to be compromised in retrieving our cost for demo.”
The cost of demolition and removing the downtown barricades is around $500,000. If the city does not receive a plan from the building’s owners, the city will move forward with legal action.
“We have filed liens on the property,” Haskin said. “We have also filed complaints to the state on the property and we are well within our rights to move forward with the demo.”
Haskin said the city hopes to hear from the building's owners within the next few weeks to see what plan of action the city will take.
That’s not soon enough for business owners — like Raymond.
“The sooner, the better for all of us,” he said. “I don’t like to cause problems, but it is a little frustrating.”
The owner of the property is Guta Lands USA out of Greenland, Arkansas.