EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWSRESIDENTS EYEING FUTURE
from Eyewitness News Online
20th Street Property Could Receive Makeover Soon
Reported by: Darrah Wilcox
Videographer: Troy Morgan
Web Producer: Darrah Wilcox
Reported: Sep. 11, 2012 5:02 PM EDT
Updated: Sep. 11, 2012 6:03 PM EDT
Huntington , Cabell County , West Virginia
More than six months after being shut down in a raid, a former gas station and convenience store could soon be seeing new life.
"I'd like to see them put another store in there – that would be handy," said Grady Toppins, who lives across the street from the 20th Street lot at the corner of Ninth Avenue that was the former site of the All-In-One convenience store.
In February, police arrested several people, including All-In-One owner Abe Eloirzazi, in a food stamps fraud scheme that had allegedly been going on for nearly two years. On Monday, Eloirzazi pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges and agreed to release the property to the city. Eloirzazi will have to pay $127,000 in restitution. He also faces up to five year in prison a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced in December.
Now officials can move forward with plans to clean up the property. City officials are expected to talk to neighbors in the area soon to find out more about what they want to do with the site. Some ideas include the convenience store, a park or a community center.
Toppins said he is happy with any of those suggestions. "Keep it clean. That's satisfactory to me. Put something in there. Anything they want to put in there," he said.
Many neighbors like the convenience of having a market. Elias Fitzpatrick said, "It's close to home, when you live over here on 19th Street, 17th Street. You can walk right down the street."
There is no grocery store within walking distance. Fitzpatrick said that everyone doesn’t have a vehicle, so it would be convenient to have another store.
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