ABILENE, Texas (KTAB/KRBC) – A million-dollar home located in the 4400 block of La Hacienda Drive in South Abilene is once again at the center of discussion in the city’s Board of Building Standards meeting Wednesday. The house began construction in 2020 but has sat unfinished and condemned since September of that year. Now, a potential buyer is facing issues of their own in trying to begin construction.

“Originally, we had a closing date at the end of August. Right before the closing date is when the title told us about the condemnation,” said Cesar Yepes, representation for potential buyer Speedy Sell LLC.

Yepes said it was late in the process that his team was informed of the house’s condemnation. The Title Board notified the sellers that they could not finalize the sale while the house is condemned. This has resulted in delays as the contractor they hired cannot obtain the necessary construction permits.

“I’m trying to come to this hearing to resolve this, and then as soon as we can find a resolution, then we can close,” Yepes said.

This is far from the first time the homeowner and those involved in the case have faced stumbling blocks. Residents in the neighborhood once called for its demolition, though as stated by Neighborhood Home Owners Association Attorney Tom Choate, most just want to see an end come one way or the other.

Simplified timeline of events (View full timeline in the “Agenda Packet” of Wednesdays BOBS meeting)

“There has been nothing done to this piece of property. We are right where we have been. We just have a new player in the mix now,” Choate told the board at Wednesday’s meeting.

Yepes first sought a letter stating that the condemnation would be lifted upon closing and completion of the project. However, since the City is the entity that condemned it, the board was unable to lift the condemnation themselves. Even so, the board did come to a resolution.

A 30/60 order was voted on and passed unanimously. This order gives the homeowner and Speedy Sell 30 days to write a plan of action and obtain all permits necessary and 60 days to perform all rough inspections that are needed. Yepes shared that while this is not the avenue he had foreseen, he is happy to see a possible path through the red tape.

“This is excellent. That will allow us to be able to move forward with the purchase and the construction of the property,” Yepes told KTAB/KRBC.

A gleam of hope in this three-year battle. Though with so many failed attempts to demolish or sell this house in the past, doubt still exists amongst neighboring residents.

“(We’ve) Been there, done that in the past in terms of people who have come forward on (The owner’s) behalf saying they intend to get this thing finished given x, y, and z,” explained Choate.

Yepes said when and if they are able to begin construction, they project a six to eight-month timeline. They are hoping to close the deal by September 15.