El Paso city officials are again fighting Billy Abraham, the imprisoned Downtown property owner, over one of his dilapidated Downtown buildings, and are recommending he be fined almost $2.2 million.
The fine, which would be one of the largest ever imposed by the city Planning and Inspections Department, is one of several actions the department is asking the city Building and Standards Commission to take at a public hearing Wednesday. The fines are being assessed because of alleged, years-old, city building and fire code violations at the mostly vacant, seven-story building at Oregon and San Antonio owned by Abraham.
The building is known as the American Furniture Building because of the large, weathered, antique American Furniture sign on the side of the building. Another large sign atop the building is missing several letters.
This is the latest round in a battle that began in 2010 when city officials closed the building for 10 days because of alleged safety and fire hazards. Officials allowed the building to re-open after some of the problems were abated, according to a city memo attached to the Building and Standards Commission's Wednesday meeting agenda.