A house at the corner of Meeker and 16th Streets in Muncie stands empty on Thursday Sept. 22, 2011. / Jordan Kartholl / The Star Press
MUNCIE — At one time, the white, two-story building at Meeker Avenue and 16th Street was known by neighbors as the friendly grocery store at the corner near the railroad tracks.
But those days are long gone, and now that same property is regarded by some as both unsafe and a nuisance.
The building, at 2433 E. 16th St., is considered an eyesore by Carolyn Bird, a former resident of the neighborhood who drives through that intersection three times a week on her way to church.
“It’s in very bad disrepair,” she said.
Bird said she remembers visiting the grocery store that was once on the first story of the property. The owners of the store, Bird said, lived on the second floor.
Since then, however, the building has been abandoned, and now several windows are broken out and weeds are making their way up the side of the building.
Bird also considers the property is a traffic hazard. As she drives down 16th Street and stops at the four-way stop at 16th and Meeker Avenue, Bird said those traveling northbound on Meeker have an obstructed view of the intersection.
“The building itself is what you can’t see around,” Bird said.
The property has also caught the attention of city officials. In August, the city issued a $190 weed violation against listed property owner Steven Enochs, who is more than $10,500 delinquent in property taxes, records indicate.
A phone listing for Enochs could not be found.
Gretchen Cheesman, administrator of the city’s Unsafe Building Hearing Authority, said the property has entered foreclosure and would be an ideal candidate for a deconstruction project.
“There’s some good wood in there,” Cheesman said. “I’m seriously considering (deconstructing) it.”
Cheesman also noted the property’s location — along the Cardinal Greenway route, which replaced the old railroad tracks — as a “prominent corner” of the city.
“We also tore down two houses and one or two trailers across from it the last couple of years,” she said.