Old hotel building causing safety hazards for residents

Published: Sep. 8, 2021 at 9:45 AM CDT
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LAREDO, TX. (KGNS) - The former Rio Grande Plaza Hotel is one of Laredo’s oldest buildings and the only one to have 13 floors.

During its prime, it was regarded as an elaborate hotel and restaurant.

Built in 1975, it stood as a 15-floor building, the tallest in the city at the time.

It was within walking distance from the Gateway to the America’s International Bridge, but now it’s more than an eyesore, it’s a safety concern.

Laredo resident Irma Rangel says she has been living near the area for over 60 years and has noticed that there haven’t been any beautification efforts in the area.

Rangel cites the Rio Grande Plaza as one of the many buildings that is creating safety concerns.

During its last years of existence, it served as a place to house homeless veterans, but those days are gone.

It’s been over a decade since the hotel closed its doors, but the dangerous conditions remain in place. You can still see the aluminum sheeting that fell from the roof creating hazardous conditions for those living in the area.

Rangel says she fears that one day pieces of the building will fall and injure someone.

We contacted the city about the conditions of the old hotel and officials say they send a code enforcement officer to the establishment.

The building at this time has permits for renovations, but safety remains on the minds of those living nearby.

City officials claim they were not aware of any complaints regarding the building but insist they will look into the matter.

We’re told a city inspector was at the property Tuesday afternoon.

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