Residents say empty North County Times property is an eyesore

New owners waiting for sale to close in Escrow

ESCONDIDO - Brown grass, tall weeds and trash now blanket parts of what was once a beautiful building in Escondido -- the former North County Times office.

The building now stands empty after it shut down last year.

The U-T San Diego bought the North County Times nearly a year ago and nearby residents said they are fed up with the building's neglect.

"You have too many empty buildings and empty buildings don't breed anything good," said Escondido resident John Avery.

Sindy Reinbolt and Avery have lived in the area for two years and said they looking forward to the new owners stepping in and reviving the property.

10News first reported this story in March when the Escondido City Council approved Classical Academy of Escondido's purchase of the building from the U-T San Diego.

"It will help stimulate activity in the area, good activity, it might even help clean up the area," said Reinbolt.

But that sale was supposed to close six months ago. However, because a school is involved, they have encountered hurdles in the transaction.

In the meantime, graffiti popped up and a 10News viewer sent a picture of a homeless man sleeping in the parking lot.

John Lynch, CEO of the U-T San Diego told 10news they have not heard of homeless people on the property.

"Our maintenance people go up there regularly but we have not heard of any complaints whatsoever and obviously we're fairly easy to reach," said Lynch.

'No Trespassing' signs have been posted, but some ignored them.

The Classical Academy of Escondido said they plan to invest millions of dollars when they take over the property."

Cameron Curry of the Academy issued the following statement to 10News:

"We plan to invest $25 million to remodel and landscape and we plan to work on community improvement all the way around."

Both U-T San Diego and the school hope to close the escrow within the next three weeks.

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