Janesville officials have not yet dug into Jim Grafft’s latest proposal to fix his decaying Monterey Hotel, but a building code official said Grafft met a deadline to submit a proposal this week that might save the building from demolition.
Building Director Tom Clippert on Friday said Grafft has submitted a new, “more substantial” proposal for fixes the city ordered for the downtown hotel in a raze-or-repair order it issued Sept. 10.
Clippert said Grafft late Wednesday afternoon filed “multiple pages” detailing repairs for the iconic, six-story Art Deco building on West Milwaukee Street.
It’s the second filing Grafft has submitted in the last few weeks. The city told him in a notice last month that his initial Oct. 10 proposal did not give enough details on project timelines, cost estimates for work the city required, or proof that he could bankroll the necessary fixes.
Grafft was given until Oct. 31 to file an updated proposal or the Monterey Hotel could face demolition by the city.
Friday morning, Clippert said he had not yet begun to assess whether the new proposal meets the city’s requirements.
Among other mandates in the raze-or-repair order, the city is requiring Grafft to repair a chronically leaky roof and permanently fix damage and wear to the hotel’s major structural supports.
City inspections this year concluded the Monterey Hotel is unsafe, and because of structural deficiencies, it could be at risk of partial or total collapse.
Clippert said the new proposal is “more substantial” than the first one, but he couldn’t give specifics about how the two proposals differed because he hadn’t reviewed Grafft’s latest plans in their entirety.
“I can tell you it’s much more information than we were provided the first time,” he said.
Clippert said the city might be ready to respond to Grafft as early as next week, but he said he wanted to make sure he had time to go over the proposal.
Clippert said raze-or-repair orders are among the most “serious” notices issued to property owners, and they’re relatively rare for commercial properties in Janesville.
In Clippert’s tenure with the city, only one other commercial property—the former Mercy Manor property at 119 S. Parker Drive—was ultimately razed under a city raze-or-repair order.
“Because this is such a serious matter, we want to make sure we give it the time needed to really review it and come up with our assessment, and whether they meet the requirements or not,” he said. “That’s to be shared with the Graffts.”
Clippert said Grafft’s son, Riley Grafft, asked late this week if the city had reviewed the latest proposal.
“I told him the same thing, that we did get your submittal. But I have to be able to give it the time it needs,” Clippert said.
This week, The Gazette filed an open records request for documents Grafft filed in his latest proposal.
The city last month supplied the newspaper with paperwork in Grafft’s initial proposal, but as of Friday evening it had not provided documents on the latest proposal.
Clippert said he has received The Gazette’s latest request.