Reporting by WVUA 23’s Jabaree Prewitt

A controversial public hearing was on the agenda at Tuesday night’s Tuscaloosa City Council meeting.

City leaders are discussing if they should condemn the West Park Shopping Center in West Tuscaloosa. The owner asked councilmembers to table the issue for 120 days for insurance purposes.

The council was not in favor of that. However, they voted to give the owner 30 days.

The problem comes after a fire destroyed Bar 17, which sits in West Park Shopping Center, back on May 19, 2019. City leaders said for the the past eight months, the owner has not done anything to clean it up. Photos were presented at the meeting, which show that recently, the back wall of the club collapsed.

There are several businesses on each side of the club still in operation. City leaders feel this structure is unsafe and an eyesore, thus pushing their consideration to condemn the entire shopping center.

The city’s code enforcement officer said there’s no way to tear down the club and leave the remaining of the structure up without an engineering design.

“If they wanted to tear it down and just rebuild, I would be for that. I just think it’s a health and safety issue and its also an eyesore, which it has been for years,” said District 1 Councilwoman Phyllis Odom.

The council will decide if they should order a demolition for the entire complex in 30 days.

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