Problem Properties: Neighbors want abandoned grocery store demolished

Original Reporting

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (WSPA) — An old grocery store has sat vacant for years, and those living nearby have been asking the county for help with no assistance so far.

More than eight acres of land with the dilapidated building has been sitting on Clifton Glendale Road in Spartanburg County for decades.

Joseph Dougherty lives just down the street from what used to be a popular grocery store.

“This was an old BI-LO built around the mid-70s,” Joseph said.

He moved to the area several years ago looking for land and cleaned up another nearby eyesore to make his home.

“We cleaned it up and we built a beautiful home right over here on the corner, three acres,” Dougherty said.

And the abandoned grocery store has been there the entire time.

“It’s an eye sore. It’s an ugly sight. It’s just part of the woodwork now,” Dougherty said.

The county slapped violations on the front of the building, including a recent condemned notice. In Spartanburg County, this means the owner must board the property to keep people out.

“It’s an eyesore for those residents who live out there. People who have invested in their homes, they have to drive by it all the time,” Spartanburg County Council member David Britt said.

He’s on a mission to help the county clean-up.

“That’s why every one of these facilities, I don’t care if it’s a house that has fallen in disrepair, we want to help,” he said.

The online county tax roll lists the owners of the property as an LLC with a P.O. Box out of Fountain Inn. An email was not returned.

“Most of these eye sores and these dilapidated buildings, they’re not owned by people who live in Spartanburg,” Britt said.

Britt said many buildings became this way with the decline of the mill industry in the area.

“Some of the decay that’s happened to industry and businesses and even homes, a lot of people haven’t recovered from what happened in the late 80s and early 90s,” he said.

“It’s hard to believe a building like this would sit for 20 or 30 years and just kind of rotting away,” Dougherty said.

Dougherty says he’s seen county crews around the area, trying to keep it cleaned up, but said the only way for something real to be done is for someone else to take over.

“It can change hands and somebody can do something productive with it,” he said.

The county’s Environmental Enforcement Department said a condemned building can remain that way for up to a year, before further action is taken.

“In the meantime all us people on the east side, we have to look at it until that day comes,” Dougherty said.

If you know of a building that needs attention send the location and details to problemproperty@wspa.com.

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