The former Woolworth-Bargain Shop building at the top of King Street in Saint John will be given a spruced up look after complaints started rolling in about the building.

The building is vacant and has taken on an abandoned look in recent months with water damage and collapsed window coverings.

Saint John Mayor Mel Norton says the building is an eyesore.

"There's no excuse on Earth for allowing a building in the heart of our city to look that way,” he said.

Ehab Radwan, who owns the Taste of Egypt restaurant next to the building, points to a list of problems he's had since the store was vacated.

Radwan says panhandlers stand in the doorway and bother tourists.

As well, an alarm in the building starting ringing and didn't stop for days.

"A week to 10 days, 24 hours. And it has leaking inside, the ceiling is dribbling there,” he said.

Saint John building

Real estate agent Stephanie Turner is in the process of improving the appearance of the former Woolworth-Bargain Shop building on King Street in Saint John. (Connell Smith/CBC)

The building is owned by a corporation directed by Rodney Gillis, a suspended lawyer, who is awaiting appeal following a conviction for obstruction of justice.

Gillis did not return a call from CBC News.

He has been trying to sell the building for years, but recently switched to a new real estate agent, Stephanie Turner.

The building is listed for $1.75 million. It is assessed at $713,4000, according to Service New Brunswick records.

Turner said she has also been upset by how the building looks and is working on a plan to replace the window coverings that are falling down.

She said her task of giving the vacant building a better look is no different than what she’d advise a client looking to sell a house to do.

“When I got the listing, I looked at the building. And it's no different than if you are selling a residential house and you want to stage it, you want to make it look its best,” Turner said.

“So I'm going to put some signage in the window, obviously, but I want to look at a way to address the other windows that need to be covered up."

Turner said she hopes to have the job done by the end of next week.

"We've gone out to some sign companies in uptown to get some ideas on what products would work best,” she said.