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Long vacant apartment complex in OKC comes under fire

OKLAHOMA CITY – Oklahoma City leaders are looking to crackdown on a well-known nuisance property.

The long vacant Lantana apartments near NW 10th and Council have gone up in flames numerous times over the years.

On Tuesday the city declared 12 of the buildings on the complex unsecured.

The plan is to board up those buildings, but unfortunately, that’s only a short term fix for a long term problem.

Even when the buildings aren’t going up in flames, they sit as burned out shells.

Broken windows expose apartments with the walls torn out.

The parking lot has been empty and overgrown for years.

“It is a nuisance.  A lot of vagrants live in there and 2 or 3 times a year there’s a fire in there,” said neighbor Joey Swearingen.

Joey owns property across the street.

He wishes the complex would be demolished and he’s not alone.

“I don’t think these buildings are salvageable,” said Sweaingen.  “They’re in horrible shape.”

“It’s definitely frustrating because it is a nuisance,” said Oklahoma City councilman James Greiner.

With an elementary school on the other side of the fence, leaders with Western Heights public schools lobbied the council to tear the property down.

Councilman Greiner sympathizes because he too lives near the complex.

“I mean it would be better to be empty than to have all the dilapidated buildings for the neighborhood,” said Greiner.

Still, Greiner says the complex has a new owner, who’s indicated he wants to revive the long vacant complex.

With so many condemned complex’s around town, the city simply doesn’t have the money to tear down the Lantana.

“We don’t have the budget to go in and tear it up, because we can’t get it back,” said Greiner.