The strip mall in Fayetteville that was once home to the Palomino and South Beach nightclubs could be torn down because of city action.
The strip is at the intersection of Owen Drive and Southern Avenue. Last week in court, the city asked a judge to seek permission to tear down the building of adjacent business spaces. Assistant city attorney Brian Meyer said the city is pursuing demolition because the building is in extreme disrepair with multiple building code violations.
The city is now waiting for the owner Bill Agapion to sign-off on the demolition.
In 2008, the city filed a nuisance abatement lawsuit that prevented Agapion from continuing to run any nightclub in the strip mall. The city cited a high crime rate on the property as a reason for working to eliminate nightclub operation there.
Stella Mullen who heads the Massey Hill Community Watch said the main anchor of the strip mall that was home to the clubs has remained vacant since the lawsuit forced the club closure.
Since then the old club space and the rest of the strip mall have gotten less and less maintenance she said. Currently there are three tenants in the strip mall - a Family Dollar store, Parker Pawn, and Beauty Giant & Furniture.
"Our concern is just that empty building or the (entire) building, just the blight, the prostitution acts that are still happening and the drug deals that are still happening in that parking lot," Mullen said. "The area is such a wonderful area for a new grocery store, but the building now needs to be totally torn down – no remodeling about it."
Meyer said he thought Agapion agreed with the city's plan. It would allow the city to tear down the strip mall and put an lien on the property so the city could recover the cost whenever the property is sold.
However, Agapion, who lives in Greensboro, said Tuesday that he was not ready to agree to demolition. He said he has a few potential buyers interested in the property, and they would like to keep the strip mall and remodel it. He said he hopes the city will give him more time to find a potential buyer.
Meyer said if Agapion agrees to the demolition, a consent order to demolish would be granted in court on July 16.
Brandon is a North Carolina native and UNC alum who lives in Fayetteville, and covers Cumberland County and the Sandhills. Returning to North Carolina to work as a journalist is a dream come true for Brandon.More>>