Abandoned homes near Alamodome worry pedestrians

Price for both homes dropped to $16,000

Author: April Molina, Investigative Reporter, amolina@ksat.com
Published On: Jan 18 2013 09:38:42 PM CST   Updated On: Jan 18 2013 10:40:35 PM CST
SAN ANTONIO -

Within a block of the Alamodome sit two abandoned, boarded-up homes.

They're not far from others that have been remodeled.

"I've noticed they've been fixing up the houses around here so people coming to the Alamodome ... can see how nice San Antonio looks," said neighbor Arthur Arranda.

The area surrounding the 400 block of Iowa Street has a lot of foot traffic -- passers-by who worry about what goes on at the property.    

"They really should fix them up or tear them down and build new houses or something," Arranda said.

The homes at 402 and 406 Iowa Street were foreclosed on in early 2011, according to the county.

The county took over as trustee for both properties, putting them up for auction in May 2011, and then again in October 2011.

"We've tried to sell it twice in the last year and a half and we can't sell the property for less than what the back taxes are owed, only through auction," said Bexar County Director of Public Works Renee Green.

At last auction, the starting price was reduced to $32,000 for both homes.

When it goes up again, the county will likely drop the price to $16,000, since so far, there have been no bidders.

"They need to upgrade it or demolish," said long-time resident Rosemary Rodriguez.

"It's not our property to tear down, we are only the trustee for the back taxes," Green explained. "The goal of Bexar County is to get this property back on the tax rolls, get this property in the hands of a responsible owner who's gonna redevelop, improve the neighborhood and add value to all the properties surrounding it."