NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WVEC) -- A lot in Newport News is about to get a makeover, in an effort to cut down on crime in the area.

The issue is the field across the street from the Martin Luther King Jr. Plaza Park.

Police said the undeveloped lot and the vacant building next to it are attracting the wrong illegal activity to the neighborhood.

A team made up of several city departments recommended putting up a fence in the field.

City council members expressed concerns about people using the park as a place to loiter, and as a place for illegal activity, some of it drug-related.

Assistant to the city manager David Freeman said the field helps contribute to the illegal activity.

“We want to attract families who want to enjoy the park and the area,” Freeman said. “It will slow down and discourage activity that is happening in the rear of these buildings.”

The 6-foot iron rod fence is going to connect with the fence at the NNRHA’s Spratley House Apartments and run to the Esquire Barbershop, replacing the existing chain-lined fence.

The city has also stepped up enforcement in the area. They've added more signs and trash cans and enhanced technology.

In order to put the fence up, city leaders say they're tearing down the run-down building at 615 25th Street.

Then the plan to get the fence up 30 days after demolition.

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