Lawyers want vacant building on West 2nd Street fixed, files lawsuit

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – “He needs to get his act to together on the building one way or another,”Lucas Rowan said.

Three attorneys in Little Rock have filed a complaint against a man who owns a deteriorating vacant building that sits next door to their firm on West Second Street.

The building has been vacant since the late 1990’s.

Court documents say the owner Jacob Chi purchased the building in 2015.

There’s lot see in downtown in Little Rock, but a vacant building on Second Street is drawing some concerns.

“I believe it’s less than a foot,” Catherine Ryan said.

The building sits next to the law office of Dodds, Kidd, Ryan and Rowan Law Firm.

“We are not the same building we are not connected but we are close,” Ryan said.

Member of the firm filed a lawsuit against Rowan Development and it’s owner Jacob Chi.

“He’s been telling us that he is going to have plans and that he is going to do things but it has never come to fruition. We want him to fix it we want him to tear it down do something that is not a danger to everybody,” Lucas said.

The lawsuit ask that the building be declared a nuisance.
The firm says the windows have been open in the past year and a half, trash sits around the building and problems continue to grow.

“We are nervous about whether there is mold there. We have units on the roof that I’m sure are exposed to whatever elements are in there,” Ryan said.

The lawsuit also the owner has not made any effort to maintain the building he purchased four years ago.

“Look at there that’s a shame,” Phillip Bryant said.

In May of 2018, parts of the building fell onto the sidewalk.

“That’s a great concern not only is it scary it’s dangerous,” Bryant said.

People like Phillip Bryant say the building is a eyesore to the downtown area.

“It’s in the way people need to walk up and down the sidewalk that’s why they built it so people could walk now they got a fence around the sidewalk you gotta walk in the street and might get hit by a car because the owner is negligence in what he’s supposed to do with this building,” Bryant said.

The firm says safety is a top concern and they want the problem fixed.

“We’ve tried to be good neighbors we don’t want to be in a lawsuit with our neighbors,” Rowan said.

The suit says Chi was cited in municipal court for failure to maintain the building and says he entered a no-contest plea.

Mr. Chi owns several businesses in the Little Rock area.

KARK 4 reached out to Mr. Chi but has not heard back from him.

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