By Gitzel Puente. CREATED Jan 13, 2014
INDIO - Driving down Highway 111, it's hard to miss the big, red building between Shields Road and Jackalope Trail. It has been abandoned since 2006 due to financial reasons, according to one of the owners, William E. Swank Sr.
The building was supposed to be an office space part of a huge, multi-million dollar development called "Polo Square" with hundreds of condominiums, two hotels and an open-air mall. Now, it sits empty, neglected and vandalized.
Plastic bags, empty water bottles, tennis shoes, fallen branches and a pile of phone books adorn the outside of the property. Many residents living nearby say it's an eyesore to their community.
"Two or three weeks ago, I saw people vandalizing, but whenIi got to recording them, they ran away," said Jose Lezama, who has lived in the neighborhood for two years.
He can see the decrepit property from his front yard. Lezama fears the property is unsafe and wants to know who's responsible for the clean-up.
The City of Indio's Code Enforcement Department have issued several code violations to the owners in the past two years, but still no action has been taken.
Swank Sr. said they haven't maintained the property because of money, and they're currently working to refinance the property before they can make any changes.
Meanwhile, code enforcement is looking for bids in February to start cleaning up the debris on the outside of the property, so it doesn't become a hazard to the public. This will leave the taxpayers paying for the clean-up.