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N4T Investigators: Neighbors say nearly empty property invites lawbreakers

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We all want our neighborhoods to be safe, and free from crime. Though, residents of one central Tucson neighborhood say a virtually empty shopping complex is inviting lawbreakers.

Residents tell us Amphi Plaza was once a thriving retail center. Now, it's virtually empty. Neighbors say the city is not doing its part to clean-up the problems.

However, new hope could be on the horizon, in the form of new development.

From the boarded up store fronts, you might think one mall in Tucson is a front runner to be the next ghost town in southern Arizona.

“It just seems like it's just kept running down, down, down, and it's become a blighted area. That's our big concern – blight,” said Bill Crouse, president of the Mountain View Neighborhood Association.  

Crouse is big on getting the mall cleaned up. He said the Amphi Plaza shopping center at First Avenue and Fort Lowell is sometimes littered with illegal dumping.

“Nothing is being done about it by the city. They just ignore it, and hope it goes away,” Crouse said.

Crouse and other people who live in the Mountain View neighborhood want a crackdown.  Tucson vice Mayor Karin Uhlich told the News 4 Tucson Investigators she hears the neighborhood's concerns.

“We are reviewing code enforcement, the ordinance itself, but there's a limit to what we can do through enforcement,” Uhlich said.

Uhlich said the city would like to see a more permanent solution. That could include a possible Walmart grocery store in the complex.

“I hope in two years, we can join together at the site, and look at what we can accomplish through redevelopment that responds to the neighborhoods in the area,” Uhlich said.

“If they have to get tough with these illegal dumpers, they need to get tough,” Crouse said.

Though, it could take a couple of years to see the site cleaned up, and see results from the revitalization.

If you have something you would like the News 4 Tucson Investigators to check out, email us at investigators@kvoa.com, or call the News 4 Tucson Investigators tip-line at (520) 955-4444.

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