Posted: Jan 2, 2013 6:01 PM
Updated: Jan 2, 2013 7:02 PM
BROWNSVILLE - Merchants in downtown Brownsville said an abandoned building serves as a haven for criminal activity and should be demolished.
"We have had some unusual activity. That building has (been) set on fire," Edward Esquivel said. He owns a nutrition shop near the abandoned, two-story building.
Esquivel said he moved to Brownsville from New Mexico to start his business.
"Boarding it down ... it hasn't done much. You see where the boards have been knocked down and somebody has actually been in it," Esquivel said.
Brownsville fire officials reported five arsons at the building during the past two years. Building inspectors said the structure is not safe.
"It would be easier to demolish it and get rid of it and start something fresh," Esquivel said.
City officials told CHANNEL 5 NEWS they are working with the building's owner to address safety concerns. They said demolition is an option.