DENVER (CBS4)– A fight is brewing over what’s left of an apartment building that was destroyed by fire several months ago in Denver’s Five Points neighborhood.
Neighbors believe the building at 3700 Marion Street is an eye sore and want it knocked down. What’s holding things up is who will be in charge of the demolition and how much it will cost the property owners.
“It’s awful and embarrassing and I get worried because sometimes I see kids in there, playing in there,” said neighbor Joleen Trujillo.
The City of Denver sent the property owner two notices and posted a third stating the building needed to be torn down or repaired by early August but the rubble remains standing.
The owner claims they need approval from the State of Colorado to tear it down.
Flames could be seen shooting from the windows of the apartment building in July. The city said soon after notices were sent to the owner but nothing was done.
“The property is unsafe, it’s been unsafe since July when the fire occurred,” said Denver Community Planning and Development spokeswoman Andrea Burns.
The property owner is waiting for the state to approve demolition without asbestos abatement. Several tests indicate there is no asbestos.
A contractor is lined up and waiting to start knocking down walls at a cost of $41,000.
“The very minute the state looks at those three asbestos reports, concludes there is no asbestos in the building, the demo begins instantly,” said Public Insurance Adjuster Don Fymbo.
The city said that isn’t fast enough.
“We would have liked to have seen the property owner move more quickly and get this taken care of back in July or August but it just hasn’t happened that way,” said Burns.
Instead the city will tear down the structure at a cost to the owner of more than $124,000. The prodcess will include a precautionary treatment for asbestos as part of the demolition.
“We’re not going to stand for the city to wack us $80,000 more than this job costs to do,” said Fymbo.
Now it’s a race to see if the owner will get the required go ahead from the state before the city makes its move.
The property owner said they are working with the city, keeping them up-to-date on the progress. The final document was filed with the state on Tuesday.
The city will plan to tear down the property next week if that approval doesn’t come through.