The remaining shell of a downtown building could be torn down as soon as December after a potential buyer failed to submit a plan to save it.
Luther Ledic of Rocket Realty and Property Management had until Nov. 1 to submit to the city a plan of rehabilitation for the building at 13 N. Main St., but no plan was submitted, city Building Director Tom Clippert said.
“I take it as a personal loss I was not able to create a plan to save it (the building),” Ledic said.
Costs for repair and concerns with zoning codes, which he chose not to publicly specify, prevented Ledic from submitting a plan for rehabilitation, Ledic said.
“We are disappointed. I was really looking forward to finding a way to save the building,” Ledic said.
Ledic in May entered a commercial purchase agreement with the property’s owner, Bruce Monson, with the intention to save the building.
Monson still owns the property and will continue to own the empty lot after the city demolishes the building, Clippert said.
City officials have no plans to buy the property, Clippert said.
The city issued a raze-or-repair order for the building in September 2018. The city and Monson negotiated for months but could not reach an agreement.
The building is a safety hazard that likely will collapse if nothing is done, Clippert said.
The rear exterior wall facing the Rock River was removed, the inside of the building has no structure and there are holes in the floor, Clippert said.
It will cost the city $158,443 to demolish the building. That cost will be billed to Monson, Clippert said.
Clippert is working to schedule a meeting between the contractor, Fisher Excavator out of Freeport, Illinois, and neighboring property owners to discuss how the building will come down.
Legends bar and O’Leary law office occupy the adjacent buildings.
Demolition will be tricky, and details will be hashed out at the upcoming meeting, Clippert said.
The entire building will have to come down, leaving behind an empty lot, Clippert said.
To prevent the building from being razed, Monson would have to enter a compliance agreement with the city, create a plan for how he intends to renovate the building to code, provide a financial plan for the rehabilitation and have cost estimates from contractors, Clippert said.