Additional chain-link and concrete fencing has been positioned around the crumbling wall at 200 E. High Street, while city officials await a report from an engineer.
The city awarded a contract to Allstate Consultants to evaluate the building, which has been gradually collapsing since a chunk of the western-facing wall suddenly fell in June.
The engineers report will shed light on how to keep the building up until a formal demolition plan is in place. The owner of the building, Andrew Neidert, has not come up with a plan on how to proceed with demolition. Neidert has been in support of demolishing what’s left of his building since July.
The eastern-facing wall of 200 E. High St. is shared by its neighbor at 202. Building Official Larry Burkhardt has said both buildings could be destroyed when 200 is demolished because of the connection.
Neidert filed a lawsuit against the owners of 202 on Tuesday. Neidert is seeking a judgment that clears him of liability in case 202 is damaged, or destroyed, by the demolition of his building.
The connection continues down the block, with 202 and 204 E. High St. sharing a wall as well, but 204 is not as compromised by the destruction of 200.
The engineers report will assist city leaders and building owners in forming a safe demolition plan, according Burkhardt. In a letter to all three building owners sent this month, Burkhardt said destroying both 200 and 202 could be the “safest” option.
The owners of 202 oppose the demolition of their building, but its not clear when or if they will have a chance to voice their opinion in a formal setting.
Burkhardt said the city plans on taking over the demolition project on Wednesday unless a plan is put in place Neidert. The chance of another collapse, which could affect several buildings on the block, grows as long as the building is exposed, Burkhardt said.
Although Burkhardt said destroying both 200 and 202 could be the best option, the city has no set plan in mind.
On Wednesday, the city will issue written notices warning of building code violations to the owner of 200 E. High St., beginning the process of a city takeover of the demolition. It is unclear if 202 will receive the same notice.
Matt Green is the owner of Bar Vino, a business in construction on the bottom floor of 204 E. High St.
Green told ABC 17 News he doesn’t know how his bar might be affected by the demolition of one or two of his neighbors.
“As far we know, our building isn’t going anywhere,” Green said. “We just have to keep going the way we’re going and hope for the best.”