A blighted building that has become an eyesore on Charlotte Pike is owned by the state of Tennessee, and Nashville's Codes Department can do nothing about it, a Channel 4 I-Team investigation has found.
The old State Highways and Public Works building sits at the corner of 22nd Avenue and Charlotte Pike. Its windows are mostly broken, its doors are barred shut, birds are flying in and out and weeds are growing.
The building stands in a neighborhood with a great view of Nashville's skyline and is surrounded by hospitals and law offices.
"As you can see, this is a major thoroughfare in the 21st district. What do you see? Broke windows, birds flying around," said former state representative and current Metro Councilwoman Edith Langster.
Langster said she's tired of looking at the eyesore, and so are her constituents.
"If this was your house, you would be on the demolition list about 20 years ago," Langster said.
It is unknown how long the state has owned the building.
"The state should be setting the example of being the good neighbor," Langster said.
Metro's Codes Department can't take any action because the city has no jurisdiction over state properties.
"It sends the message: If you're the big, bad state government, you can't be bothered. You can't be touched," Langster said.
Lola Potter, spokeswoman for the state Department of Finance and Administration, said the building hasn't been used for years and has been ravaged by vandalism. The state's motor vehicle management division only uses the back of the building, Potter said.
The entire block of buildings is owned by the state.
Potter said since state revenues are so low, fixing a building that's been the target of vandals would not guarantee that the building wouldn't be targeted again in a short time.
Potter added that renovating the building would be more costly than building a structure from the ground up.
The state plans to sell the building and the entire block.
But Langster asks, who would want the building in this condition?
"You can't put this on the market," Langster said.
The state has no timetable when it will put the building up for sale, which means taxpayers will continue to fund what's become a great place for a pigeon hotel.
"We're taxpayers. We pay taxes on this building," Langster said.