Downtown building eyed for demolition

A three-story building at 131 S. Main St. has suffered an estimated $800,000 worth of water damage. A possible demolition could close parts of Main Street and Lexington Avenue, a central intersection in the downtown shopping area. 

ELKHART — A building in downtown Elkhart could require demolition, potentially closing parts of Main Street and Lexington Avenue, according to City of Elkhart Building Commissioner Jim Holtz.

The damaged three-story building is located at 131 S. Main St., at the corner of Main Street and Lexington Avenue. 

“Most of the damage is incurred by water infiltration from the roof, with years of neglect,” he told the Board of Public Safety on Tuesday.

He said repairs are estimated to cost $800,000.

“The landlord is responsible for that, I assume – the owner?” board chairman Robert Woods said.

Holtz confirmed that. He said the Building & Code Enforcement Department is working on a timeline for the building, depending on whether anyone is interested in repairing the building.

If not, it may need to be demolished.

A decision on that could be made this fall, according to Holtz, who said the department is “exploring all options” for the building.

“The problem with it coming down, at this point, is that we’ll probably close off Main Street and Lexington Avenue in order to demolish it,” he said.

He said there is no time frame on when a possible demolition might happen or how long it would take.

Holtz said the department is also looking to compile a list of buildings that are known to be vacant and find out why, so that the department can take more informed steps in handling those cases.

In separate cases, Holtz told the board, the department is having success with getting residents to comply with city ordinances requiring some property owners to make repairs, mow their lawns or get rid of their trash.

“The kinder, gentler approach seems to be working, right?” board member Kevin Segner said.

Holtz agreed.

“Now that we’re out talking to people, we’re finding that we get a lot of cooperation,” he said. 

Follow Rasmus S. Jorgensen on Twitter @ReadRasmus

(4) comments

Seven

The City of Elkhart ought to take Wagner Realty to court about the condition of the building. Did the city take them to court about the burned out building?

Seven

Who is the present owner of the building? Will they be forced to pay for the repairs or demolition of the building? I suspect that the tax payer will be stuck again for the demolition.

fire111

The owner is Wagner Real Estate. Same people that own the burned out building on south Main. They didn't pay for that mess! What are the odds they will pay up on this mess?

0408958

Let's be clear, you only receive cooperation because of the threat of having the building(s) demolished. Before that the owners did not care about upkeep. This is a disgusting throw-away mentality/society. Many would be happy to have a roof over their head, and do the upkeep work for free.

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