by Mitchell Kirk Pharos-Tribune
---- — The Logansport Board of Public Works and Safety has authorized the demolition of what remains at 208 S. Sixth St. after the city’s requests for the owners to develop a plan continue to be disregarded.
The issue has been ongoing since April, when the city ordered an emergency partial demolition at 208 S. Sixth Street after part of its east wall collapsed. Because it jeopardized the buildings it shares structural elements with — 210 and 214 S. Sixth St. — the city attempted to work with all three of the buildings’ owners to develop plans moving forward.
Manuel and Reinalda Loeza of Lombard, Ill., owners of the vacant 208 S. Sixth St. that used to house La Rosita Restaurant, were the only owners who did not participate in the discussions, Logansport Building Commissioner Bill Drinkwine said.
The Loezas were ordered to appear before the board of public works and safety Wednesday in the fifth mailing sent to them since the collapse.
“I’ve had no response from them in the last two and a half months,” Drinkwine told board members.
A working number for the Loezas could not be found.
Virginia Cooke, owner of the vacant building at 210 that was formerly Townhouse Beauty Salon, said she intends to have the building demolished. Kevin Crook, owner of American Family Insurance — Kevin J. Crook Agency Inc. at 214, plans to have structural repairs done to ensure his property won’t be damaged in the demolitions of the other two buildings. He and Cooke will share responsibility for refinishing the shared interior wall that will become an exterior wall after the demolition of 210.
“The only resolution we have left is what to do with 208 S. Sixth St.,” Drinkwine said.
Citing the Loeza’s consistent disregard and need to move forward on the matter before winter, the board approved the demolition of 208, subject to a transfer of funds from city council.
“I think Bill has done everything he can do,” said Chris Armstrong, board member and the city’s community development director.
In an interview after the meeting, Drinkwine said he expects the demolition at 208 to cost about $30,000. He said the money won’t require an additional appropriation, but a transfer of funds. He said he hopes the council will vote on the matter early next month.
Drinkwine said the next step will be to submit the demolition request to the Development Plan Review Subcommittee within the city’s plan commission, which will be followed by contract negotiations for final pricing on the tear-down before city council votes on the funds.
Mitchell Kirk is a staff reporter at the Pharos-Tribune. He can be reached at 574-732-5130 or firstname.lastname@example.org.