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Birmingham Sues 3rd Avenue W Property Owners Over Continued ‘Illegal Activity’, ‘Violence’

The City of Birmingham announced Monday that it is suing the owners and operators of the properties located at 800 and 814 3rd Avenue West over the continued high amount of illegal activity, including violence.

The locations include a Shell gas station and the Boston Fish Supreme restaurant, which are both attached to the same complex.

The city named Third Avenue Ventures, LLC and Express Mart of Alabama, LLC were named as owners in the complaint.

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The city said the properties were “essentially used as a launching pad for criminal activity,” including drug activity and violence. Over the past two years, the city said the Birmingham Police Department has responded to hundreds of calls at or near the properties.

The incidents included reports of theft, kidnapping, assault, drugs, dangerous driving in the exhibition and more.

The city said more than 50 calls have been received by the Birmingham Police Department about the properties in the past month.

In January 2024, the city said a woman was beaten in the door of the property known as Shell 3rd Avenue, kidnapped and eventually killed.

The city also mentioned the latest incident that happened on Saturday in the locations where a shooting left one person dead and seven injured.

The city said the complaint also stated that “neighboring residents are at serious risk of immediate and irreparable harm.”

“I have instructed the city attorney to take action to address public safety concerns at this location. Our small businesses are the backbone of our city, but when they don’t make a basic commitment to protect their premises, they put the well-being of their businesses and the public at risk,” said Mayor Randall L. Woodfin. “Local business owners need to be held accountable for activity on their property, especially properties that have been constant sites of illegal disturbances.”

“We are committed to holding property owners accountable for ongoing criminal activity that poses a danger to individuals both on those properties and in the surrounding neighborhood,” said District Attorney Nicole King.

In the court filing, an affidavit from Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr states that “the properties have been the focus of numerous shootings, altercations and other criminal attacks.” Carr’s affidavit also states that the property owners appear “unwilling to take the necessary steps to stop criminal activity on the premises.”

In the filing, the court requests that the properties be declared a public nuisance and requires the properties to take the necessary steps to eliminate the criminal activity. The complaint asks the court to allow the city to demolish the properties if the defendants do not comply.

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