Crumbling, vacant building worries business owners next door

The owners of a Flint business are worried about a crumbling structure next door.
Published: Aug. 3, 2023 at 5:42 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WNEM) – The owners of a Flint business are worried about a crumbling structure next door, and the company said it’s only getting worse and it’s only a matter of time before it affects their bottom line.

“If this building goes down, it will take us with it. Our rafters are attached, we share an attached wall,” said Carl Spaniola with Paul’s Pipe Shop.

Spaniola spoke about the vacant structure next to Paul’s Pipe Shop.

“I would hate to say I’m getting numb to it because it’s taken so long for anything to get done, but we have literally been dealing with this for going on 10 years,” he said.

Spaniola’s family owns the business, and he said they’ve reached out to the city of Flint to get answers to a problem that has gotten worse over time.

“It started with a few bricks at a time falling, and about two and a half years ago, a six-foot tall by 10- to 12-foot-long section fell out. And all they did to repair it was put this plywood that you see that did no good,” Spaniola said.

But that’s not all.

“And this enormous hole in the wall has been this way for going on a month now,” Spaniola said. “Not only has nobody come to clean up the pile of bricks, or to try to repair the hole, or anything at all really.”

The city of Flint placed an emergency demolition order on the front door of the building in July.

A Flint city spokesperson told TV5 the city is working through the court to determine who the owner is so the city can take action.

“I really don’t care who owns the building. The only thing I have to say is I have lost total faith in the city to take care of an issue such as this,” Spaniola said.

He said in spite of the crumbling building next door, he has no plans to close, adding he can’t afford to.

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