Ramsay McCormack building in Ensley concerning business owners - ABC 33/40 - Birmingham News, Weather, Sports

Ramsay McCormack building in Ensley concerning business owners

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There are complaints about the tallest building in Ensley. Some business owners say it's a nuisance. They want the Ramsay McCormack building to come down because it's a safety hazard and an eye sore.

Age is taking a toll on the tallest building in Ensley. Broken windows and glass on sidewalks cut into hopes for nearby business owners.

Antonio Spurling with Spurling Associates says, "There's debris that falls out of the building daily."

"People go in and go out of the building and you don't know what they're doing, yeah I'm afraid." Emma Gray says that's forcing her to keep her flower shop locked. "I don't like keeping my door locked, I really don't"

Robert and Emma Florist and Hope International.. are just a couple businesses that want something done about the Ramsay McCormack Building. Ronald Deramus says, "We are concerned about the quality of life of every individual."

Gray says "They said they were going to tear it down, make it into a senior center, but they haven't done anything."

Spurling says the city of Birmingham has neglected it. His business is also across the street. "The city did not honor its commitment to demolish the building or renovate it, so we re-filed a lawsuit about a year ago."

Besides its appearance, Spurling says there are environmental concerns after asbestos and demolition specialists went inside. "It has asbestos in it, lead base paint, issues of mercury possible."

Spurling says he wants to protect the public, but he and his neighbors are also encouraging the city to be more active in re-vitalizing Ensley.

Ronald Deramus with Hope International says "Our interest is keeping this area alive like it was at one time years ago."

ABC 33/40 spoke with Birmingham City Council President Roderick Royal who says the city does not comment on pending litigation, but he did say the city needs to do something about the building.

We also left a message for the city attorney, but we're still waiting to hear back.

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