The site of a vacated homeless encampment behind the Central District’s MidTown Center is still a mess -— and so is the legal situation around it being emptied, an official with the city attorney’s office said.

“That is a complex situation to put it lightly,” Assistant City Attorney Nyjat Rose-Akins told East Precinct Advisory Council attendees on Thursday, Sept. 22.

Three days earlier, on Sept. 19, representatives of the Bangasser family signed contracts with squatters who had set up a homeless encampment on a portion of their property. The contracts required the squatters to agree never to return to the property.

The Bangasser family has owned the MidTown Center property on the southeast corner of 23rd Avenue and East Union Street, stretching an entire block south to East Spring Street, since 1941. Following the mid-September resolution of a lawsuit resolving ownership rights among the Bangassers, the family began taking steps toward completing a contracted sale of their property to Lennar Corp., which has submitted plans to build a 405-unit apartment building with ground floor commercial space, according to a July 20 press release published on the Daily Journal of Commerce’s website.

Those plans are not currently listed in the Department of Construction and Inspections’ online records, which show the Bangasser family still owns the site.

The Bangassers previously had a deal to sell the property to California-based Legacy Partners for $23.5 million, but that deal fell through as the family’s ownership lawsuit dragged on. The price of sale to Lennar Multifamily Communities is unknown at this time.

Currently the property is site to a U.S. Post Office and other small businesses.

A corner of the property on 24th Avenue and East Spring Street is also home to the Umoja P.E.A.C.E. Center, a “community based cultural center,” which provides arts activities and programs for area youth. Co-founder Omari Tahir-Garrett had allowed former Nickelsville residents to set up the homeless encampment on the site of Umoja after the Nickelsville camp below the confluence of Interstates 5 and 90 dissolved in March.

Rose-Akins said the sale of the property remains the subject of a number of lawsuits.

Tahir-Garrett filed a federal civil rights lawsuit in April, which lists Midtown Limited Partners, its managing director Margaret Delaney, Seattle City Light, City Councilmember Kshama Sawant as chairperson of Seattle City Light and Council President Bruce Harrell as defendants — alleging the violation of his first amendment rights via the disconnection of his utilities and other actions to remove Umoja from the property.

Tahir-Garrett, who is seeking more than $5.6 million in damages, further alleges in the suit that the defendants were “oppressing and suppressing Black Culture [sic] … [and] demolishing buildings occupied by grassroots Black activist [sic] for the sole purpose of replacing black citizens with white citizens.”

“In essence, he believes he has some right, some interest in the property,” Rose-Akins said.

The Bangassers have countered with an unlawful detainer suit, which, if successful, would effectively evict Tahir-Garrett, who currently remains on the property, she said.

The city of Seattle has also filed for fines against the property owners for the presence of the unauthorized homeless encampment. However, the city is waiting to see if the various lawsuits resolve the ownership of the property before pursuing compensation.

The encampment was considered a violation of the city’s public health code. The city attempted to alleviate sanitation concerns by providing a portable toilet, Rose-Akins said.

With the departure of the camp, neighbors and officials have taken note of the remaining mess.

“My biggest concern has always been around the public health standpoint of the property not having proper sanitation situations,” said East Precinct Advisory Council Chair Troy Meyers.

Meyers said police had recovered stolen personal property at the remains of the camp, but were unable to further investigate in the wake of campers’ departure.