The Monterey Hotel is in “substantial compliance” with a list of required repairs, city officials found during an inspection last week.
Property owner Jim Grafft originally was required to repair windows, tuck point exterior brick and fix a leaky roof by May 31 as outlined in a compliance agreement signed late last year. Grafft has completed most of those tasks, and the city was willing to extend deadlines for other tasks because they were happy with the progress, Building Director Tom Clippert said.
Most of the remaining jobs must be finished by June 30, according to a document shared by Clippert.
“They’ve come a long way,” Clippert said. “There’s just a few points that need to be addressed.”
Grafft and the city in November reached a compliance agreement to fix dilapidated parts of the former hotel. The building has been vacant for about 30 years. Grafft bought it in 1996.
In that time, the building has deteriorated. Janesville issued a raze-or-repair order in September because of lingering safety concerns. Such an order forces property owners to make fixes or risk demolition.
The two sides signed the compliance agreement after several rounds of negotiations.
Owner Jim Grafft and the city remain at odds over the future of the Monterey Hotel. And there's no indication they'll agree on a plan to redevelop the building.
Clippert said last week’s inspection showed the building looks “much better.” The deadline extension gives the Grafft family some “wiggle room” to finish certain repairs.
Jobs that must be completed by June 30 include:
- Finish tuck pointing brick on the roof side of the parapet, which is the low protective wall that encircles the top of the building. The majority of tuck pointing is complete.
- Remove all remaining debris from the building’s interior. Like the tuck pointing, most of this already is finished.
- Wrap windows and exterior doors on the first and second floors with historical photos. Because the lower levels of the vacant building are more prone to vandalism, the city agreed to let the Grafft family cover the windows with graphics. This reduces the likelihood of new windows being broken shortly after installation, Clippert said.
- Fix the leaky roof.
- The roof has been patched, but there is still leaking on the upper floors. Daylight was visible along the east wall of the first floor during the May 31 inspection.
- Cover electrical panels in the basement.
- Repair windows and glass on sixth floor.
Another deadline looms at the end of July. Crews must reinforce a one-story section in the building’s rear by July 31, according to the document.
The city does not have a financial role in any of the repairs, Clippert said.
Making repairs is necessary to preserve the building, but whether that helps revive the property is uncertain. The Graffts have long touted plans for apartments inside the former hotel rooms, but they’re at odds with the city over who will pay for parking.
The Gazette was unable to reach Britten Langfoss, Grafft’s daughter, for further comment Thursday. In a December interview, Langfoss and Grafft told The Gazette they still were hopeful they could eventually convert the building into apartments, although they had no immediate plans to do so.
Clippert said he wasn’t sure what the family plans after repairs are finished. But he said the two sides have had a good working relationship since monthly check-in meetings began in January.
“They’ve been open to the requirements we send. They know they need to take care of these items,” Clippert said. “Hopefully, we’ll get to a point they’re in complete compliance soon.”