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Heavy Duty Window Screens Cutting Down On So. Fla. Squatters

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MIAMI (CBS4) – From across the street, one building in Miami looks like any other in an industrial area, but the window coverings are made of steel.

The heavy duty covers are protecting the building which is abandoned. Many of the windows are literally broken. The inside is just an empty shell.

Officials say the vacancy attracts all sorts of bad things.

“It brings an element to a neighborhood that wouldn’t ordinarily belong there,” said Marc Sarnoff, Commissioner of District 2 in Miami.

Elected officials announced their partnership with the company who makes the silver screen window coverings -VPS. The product is an alternative to plywood which can be an eye sore after a while and doesn’t work well against the weather in South Florida.

“It helps keeps squatters, drugs and other things of that nature out which all contribute to taking down a communities value,” said John O’Leary, C.E.O. of VPS.

The steel screens are going to come in handy because over the next several months the building is being transformed into a state of the art film studio.

The screens work for the industrial building, but what about for residential areas? VPS can actually place a picture over the screen to make it look just like a regular window.

With the foreclosures in Florida, the product could be a solution to a growing problem that could make families feel more at ease.

“I don’t have to worry about walking by that building. I don’t have to worry about what is going on inside,” said Pieter Bockweg, with the Community Redevelopment Agency.

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