Notorious apartment complex in northwest Oklahoma City partially demolished

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OKLAHOMA CITY - Seven of the twelve buildings at the Lantana Apartments were demolished Wednesday morning.

The much-maligned structures, located at 7408 N.W. 10th St., have caught fire more than 20 times.

The apartments have been vacant since at least 2008, and the city has spent more than 72,000 tax payer dollars to keep it safe.

People living nearby call the complex dangerous and an eyesore.

In October 2015, the city council approved a $234,652 bid to demolish the structures and remove debris.

K&M Dirt Services won the bid, beating out three others.

Its bid was the lowest, the city said.

So, now, K&M Dirt Services is doing what so many have wanted for years.

"I would thank the good Lord if they burned down," said Rita Swonger.

“They need to tear it down or let it burn, one or the other,” said John Ewing.

The Lantana Apartments have been a hotbed for crime.

"This property has had a long history of criminal activity, of neglect,” said Kristy Yager, spokesperson for the city of Oklahoma City. “It's just been a real eyesore for the community, and it just causes more crime."

Officials said it will cost between $750,000 and $1 million to tear down the rest of the complex, which is something the city of Oklahoma City will have to front until the owners pay up.

"The other five buildings will cost a lot to demolish, because they still have a lot of asbestos inside them," Yager said. "We're going to do it, but it's going to take time."

Right now, there's no timeline for the rest of the demolition, but city officials hope the neighborhood will see this as a step in the right direction.

"Particularly, the school in the area. They're very excited about something, progress happening," Yager said. "Children live around here. They go to school around here, and we just don't need to expose them to this."

The city of Oklahoma City will place a second lien on the property owners who are based in California.

The owners will be responsible for reimbursing the city for this morning's demolition.

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