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Reluctant or missing property owners stall Centro renovations

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Resistant homeowners have prolonged the current facade renovation plan. Photo: Sipse

Mérida, Yucatán — With some property owners resisting the arrival of paint and repair crews, the city is continuing its efforts to restore building exteriors in the Centro.

More than 70 owners of historic buildings are still in the midst of the current phase of the city’s façade rescue project, as others have refused or can not be included due to legal issues. Without municipal intervention, countless homes and businesses fade and crumble, and the city is increasingly conscious of its image.

The current phase of the city’s ongoing “Rescate de Fachadas,” or facade rescue, was supposed to conclude in March.

But the Director of Urban Development of Mérida, Aref Karam Espósitos, said that 22 owners do not want work in their homes, “so it is still in the stage of convincing them to accept it.”

“We try to get everyone involved in this project,” said Karam Espósitos. But some don’t want scaffolding and workers in front of their properties, others argue over colors.

Another problem they face is that some 20 properties are abandoned and their owners cannot be located.

Some 28 properties have the “disadvantage” of being listed as historical monuments, so a special permit must be requested from the National Institute of Anthropology and History (INAH) to intervene.

“I think we can find many of these cases, those that have a legal procedure, I believe, will be more complicated, but in the coming months we will move forward in restoring the facades,” he said.

The 20-year-old renovation plan consists of applying finishes and paints, and restoring cornices and ornamental features. Crews will also remove unauthorized advertising or signage not in keeping with the building’s architecture.

Over time, more than 1,000 historic properties have been given a facelift under what’s called the Programa de Rescate de Fachadas del Ayuntamiento de Mérida.

Source: Sipse

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