This follows the upholding of a code compliance notice calling on the owners to demolish the building within thirty days by the Building Code Appeals Board. That 30-day notice expired some time ago which then led the City to commence legal action in the State Superior Court, (see our earlier blog post reporting the details of our meeting with the City's Attorney.
The permit is for the demolition of the building structure only, not the foundations. G&M Construction was one of the seven firms which submitted bids to the City for the full demolition work back in the Summer, and back in June the City's Deputy Manager, Marcus Fuller, informed the Council that G&M Construction had done some work on the building many years ago when consideration was being given to its demolition then.
We now must wait and see what happens but we have a date by which to judge whether this really is good news or is simply a ploy related to the legal action being taken by the City. Sources at City Hall say that we should be quietly optimistic that this represents, finally, the long-awaited event which will provide some relief to the residents which have been blighted for years by the effects of this building and its neglect.
If demolition does indeed happen shortly it will be as a direct result of the engagement of local people with their City, including the near 800 people who signed a petition calling for demolition back in April and May of this year. Sadly, it will not be through any effort of their neighborhood organizations, nor through their City Council members, all of whom have, quite simply, been worse than useless in dealing with this issue. It is to be hoped that given the changes taking place in our representatives on City Council, that such inertia will cease to be the case and both City Council members and neighborhood organizations will take a far more proactive and responsive approach towards community involvement.