City says shopping plaza is 'nuisance' after 72 police calls

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - The North Shore Plaza off of 45th Street in West Palm Beach has been designated a "nuisance property."

City officials say police have been called there over seventy times over the past six months for calls ranging from loitering to domestic disputes.

"You cannot have one property monopolize the time of the police department," West Palm Beach spokesman Elliot Cohen said.

Cohen says nuisance properties take resources away from the city.

"Every time an officer responds to that property that officer is unavailable to respond to your house or to a car accident or to anything else going on in the neighborhood," Cohen said.

But business owners in the complex say the shopping center does not deserve the negative attention.

"I've been here for thirty years and we have had no problems," Royal Subs owner Joe Bryan said.

The shopping center has a convenience store, a barber, two churches, a childcare center and the sub shop.

Some of the business owners say people driving by see customers congregating outside the businesses and call police because they assume they are up to no good.

"It is important the city know that this is not a nuisance area," Bennie Herring, an elder at the International First Born Church said.

Herring says police have even been called to peaceful Church events.

"We were orderly, we were organized, and there wasn't a large crowd or noise. But to bring attention to the center, someone called the police," Herring said.

Some business owners in the complex said they plan to meet with the city.

The owner of the complex said he is scheduling a meeting with an attorney and a police representative.

The owner has fifteen days to come up with a plan for the property or could face fines.