BROOKLYN - The city began tearing down a church in Brownsville this past week, but the property owners say they were never notified of the demolition.

According to residents, the Bergen Street church has been a neighborhood eyesore since it shut down more than six years ago and they're happy to see it go. But one of the owners, Vincent Dobson, says he had plans for the space, including community workshops for young people.

Dobson says the property owners received a letter from the city earlier this month saying that work on the building needed to begin by May 31. He says they had just hired an engineer when the demolition began unexpectedly.

The Department of Buildings says it had received numerous complaints over the years for failure to maintain the exterior of the building and had handed out several violations.