City stops removal of Case debris
City Manager Eric Levitt stopped work until staff could review the request. Crews on Tuesday tore down the historic building—the oldest commercial building in the city—after past owners allowed it to fall into disrepair.
The appeal requests that the owner be given the chance to salvage material. It demands a hearing before the zoning board of appeals, said Gale Price of the community development department.
The owner is North American Group of Companies in Madison. Briarmoon was the real estate agent involved in the building’s sale.
The seller didn’t respond to two city-imposed deadlines to fix the building, beginning with a raze-or-repair order in October and a second deadline in June. Staff during that time worked with two potential buyers, but neither could get financing or figure out a way for the project to be financially viable.
Briarmoon charged Wednesday that the city did not give proper notice to the owner when workers demolished the building Tuesday. She said the bricks are worth money because they can be used for other historical renovation projects.
Price said the city didn’t salvage the material because of the process that would be required to reimburse the owner.
“If they wanted to salvage the materials, they needed to move forward with their own demolition,” Price said.
Also, the bricks are covered in lead paint, which presents a safety issue.
Levitt on Tuesday asked city workers to remove the signs from the building before demolition began.