JVG_200206_13MAIN

An empty lot is all that's left of a vacant downtown building at 13 N. Main St., Janesville, that was demolished by the city.

JANESVILLE

The owner of the now-empty downtown lot at 13 N. Main St. says he is in early talks with a nearby tavern owner to repurpose the lot—at least temporarily.

Property owner Bruce Monson said he has plans to meet with the owner of Legends to discuss leasing space on the lot for the bar’s use.

The city issued a raze-or-repair order for Monson’s vacant building Aug. 15, 2018. Monson and city officials went back and forth for a year before the building was demolished early this year.

Monson said he was talking to multiple prospective buyers when the city decided to tear down the building. He thinks the city should have allowed him more time to pursue a sale.

Monson said he probably won’t be able to sell the property soon because a buyer will be responsible for reimbursing the city for the demolition.

Building Director Tom Clippert said the total cost for demolition was $171,573—$13,130 more than an estimate he gave in November.

He said the city is not interested in buying the property and has not talked to Monson about its future.

However, city officials are looking for a weather-proofing treatment to apply to the walls of Legends and O’Leary Law Office, which were left exposed after the demolition.

Clippert said the city is gathering information on treating the walls “in an aesthetically pleasing manner.”

The city demolished 13 N. Main St. because officials deemed the building unsafe.

City workers will apply a base-level weather-proofing treatment to the walls. The buildings’ owners will be able to upgrade the treatment after that if they choose, Clippert said.

City staff will meet with the property owners once a treatment product has been chosen, he said.

Clippert described the demolition process as delicate and complicated.

During demolition, crews discovered a structure that was built around the parapet wall of 11 N. Main St. and was supported by 13 N. Main St. That structure had to be re-anchored to 11 N. Main St., Clippert said.

Weather-proofing material also has been installed along the exposed foundations of 11 N. Main St. and 15 N. Main St. to prevent water seepage, Clippert said, and that increased the project’s cost.

The city will pay the contractors for the work and then bill Monson, who still owns the property, Clippert said.

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