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Local Nightclub vandalized
PENSACOLA -- A closed down Pensacola night club has become an eyesore according to the club owners.
Back in November "Club Edge" closed and just a month later new tenants moved in.
But they weren't invited.
The owners say vagrants broke into the club off Fairfield Drive and started stealing and vandalizing the property.
Now, the owners are asking for the county's help.
"This is the side of Club Edge and as you can see there is trash all over the ground broken beer bottles and boxes everywhere. The county wants the club owners to clean up the property, but one problem the owners say this mess wasn't caused by them, but by homeless people and say they even cut a hole in the side of the building to gain entry."
"They stole all the boxes down here with soda inside and they ransacked all this stuff."
Club Edge owner Bill Marshall says his business was booming when it was shut down in November by the Fire Marshals office.
The Fire Marshal says the size of the building requires a fire alarm, sprinkler system, and new exit doors to meet code requirements.
The additions would cost around 60,000 dollars so the doors were shut, until the work is done.
Now, nearly 80,000 dollars of damage has been caused by vandals.
They raided the bar leaving only water bottles behind.
They stripped copper from the AC units outside, and stole stereo equipment.
"Every time we board it up and it gets cold and raining they tare it down and go back in there. We put up fences it close it off and they keep tearing fences down. There is just no way without opening it to keep it clean."
Surrounding businesses have complained..
"McDonalds had called me and said it's almost like a homeless community and said there is like nine or ten tents here, sleeping bags all around and after dark there might be up to 20 or 30 people sleeping around this area."
Since the club closed the sheriffs office has been called 3-times to the property with complaints of suspicious people.
The business could also face a 1,000 dollar fine from county code enforcement if the mess outside isn't cleaned up within the next 10 days.
Marshall wants the county's help to re-open with more deputy patrols, and some flexibility on the building codes.
He says it would create jobs and put a stop to the homeless camp.
"It's like we are caught between the law that doesn't want us to open and the other law that wants us to keep it clean."
"The Escambia County Sheriffs office says before the vagrants can be removed from the night club the property owner will have to fill out authorization for allowing deputies on the private property."