ISHPEMING - The demolition of two downtown Ishpeming buildings began Monday.
The buildings were slated for demolition when the Ishpeming City Council at their October regular meeting approved the bid to Associated Constructors LLC for $40,705. The buildings are located at 201 E. Division St. and 213 S. First St.
"I think the demolition of these buildings is breathing a new life into the city," said Councilwoman Elaine Racine. "I hope it attracts new business and I hope it shows that we care about our city."
Workers began tearing down buildings at 201 E. Division and 213 S. First streets on Monday in Ishpeming. (Journal photo by Adelle Whitefoot)
According to City Manager Jered Ottenwess, the doors of the buildings were open, so the city decided to padlock them for safety purposes.
The city had conducted two inspections of the building, one in May and one in July, during which city officials found black mold covering most of the surfaces of the building and a large hole in the roof, which allowed for extensive water damage to both the walls, ceiling and floor of the structure and standing water on both the first and second floors.
The city was able to order the demolition of the buildings under its unsafe building ordinance. The ordinance allows the city manager to issue a demolition order if the estimated cost of repairs needed to make the building usable is greater than the true cash value of the building.
The owner of 201 E. Division St. appealed a Notice of Violation for the demolition of the building. A hearing was held in August to discuss the appeal, which was denied. The owners were given until Oct. 7 to demolish the buildings themselves.
"It's nice to see them being demolished," Ottenwess said. "It was a long process to do so."
According to Ottenwess, the lots will be restored and after a process of imposing liens and dealing with ownership issues, the city hopes to obtain ownership in the future and have productive use of the lots in a year or two.
Adelle Whitefoot can be reached at 906-486-4401.