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