Abandoned buildings impacting downtown Hannibal businesses - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Abandoned buildings impacting downtown Hannibal businesses

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HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Some Hannibal businesses are feeling the impact of building owners who aren't keeping up with repairs. The city is filing a civil action AGAINST THE owners of 213 Broadway to renovate their building.  It's been abandoned, and if there's no response, the city can come in and demolish it.

This is the second time in the past year Hannibal City Officials have had to step in and file a nuisance complaint after owners have abandoned their buildings.  This has a negative impact on local businesses, and they say something needs to be done.

"You know right now the building's blighted and it needs to be taken down to a parking lot or another building put up," Robert Heiser said.   

Heiser owns a business just a few doors down from 213 Broadway.  He said there used to be a couple of different businesses in the building but since it's been abandoned, he's had to do more.

"It's just I have to advertise more myself to get people downtown. It's real difficult for a small independent like myself and it makes it hard," Heiser said.  

Just a block away is another building the city took over and is in the process of demolishing. Northeast Missouri Economic Development Director George Walley said it's nearly impossible to find someone who wants to put a business in that type of buildings.

"Then usually you don't find someone that wants to make that investment. To replace a common wall building, usually the business scenario doesn't pencil out," Walley said.  

While Heiser would like to see this building restored to the way it used to be, he knows that may not be possible.

"I'd love to see another business put in there instead of a parking lot. But in these economic times, I think it'll be real tough and hard for somebody to do that," he said. 

If the Circuit Judge declares the building a public nuisance, the owners would be ordered to repair the building, but if they fail to do so, the judge can give the city permission to demolish the property.  City Attorney James Lemon said he has been told the building is still fixable.

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