Problem Properties: Abandoned convenience store eyesore

Original Reporting

GREENVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) — On the county line between Spartanburg and Greenville sits an abandoned convenience store that some 7News viewers say is an eyesore for them.

It’s located on the northbound ramp to Interstate 85 near Highway 14.

“We will do our best to keep the blight if you will cleaned up and fenced in,” said Pete Poore, director of communications for the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

And although it sits nearly on the county line, Greenville County property records led 7News to the unlikely owners, the SCDOT.

“The property was purchased for that project. That project was a reconfiguration of the interchange the nearby interchange on I-85,” said Poore.

Poore said the department doesn’t have much funding to take care of properties like this.

“There’s no fund for building demolition.”

When it was first built, it was a convenience store.

After the DOT purchased the spot for the road project, the project was completed but the area lost it’s usefulness.

“Apparently there was some interest by some outside buyers, some interest, but no one actually made the effort to purchase the property,” said Poore. “Now the decision is whether to demolish the building and clean up the property.”

“That just depends on the cost. You know what the cost of all of that is going to be if it could still be used or if it could just be more beneficial to tear it down,” said Russell Hart, fire marshal at the Pelham-Batesville Fire Department.

That fire department would respond to the spot if there was a need.

“It has been secured, we don’t see where it’s being vandalized or anything. We don’t see any reason it’s going to cause people any harm,” said Hart.

Hart said they haven’t received any reports of it being a problem, and when we checked with Greenville County, they had never been called to the property and didn’t have any violations on record.

“We’ll pretty much leave it like it is,” said Hart. “If we start having issues with it down the road that we see can be dangerous to somebody then we would take action.”

Hart said several years ago the department saw some problems and that’s when they requested the DOT put up the fence that is there now.

He said the state of South Carolina has adopted the International Fire Code which states that if the property is secure and the owner is still able to be contacted buildings can stay like this.

“This time, the owners of the property have done that,” Hart explained. “They have put a fence around it and have it locked up so nobody can get in there.”

Even so, the property owner, in this case the DOT, does need to keep a watchful eye on the area.

“We hear the fence has been vandalized and there may be some damage done to the building that we can clean up,” said Poore.

In the future, Poore said that if there is another project in that area, they would probably demolish the building and the cost of demolition would be part of that new project.

If you know of a building or property that’s causing issues in your community, 7News wants to hear about it. Email those details to problemproperty@wspa.com.

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