Magee House may be demolished ‘sooner rather than later’
Published Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:02PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, November 15, 2018 5:40PM EST
Months after it partially collapsed, residents say it’s time to do something about Magee House.
“I’ve seen some pretty scary things along here,” said Rick Hewitt-White of the construction set up protruding onto the street and blocking part of the sidewalk.
Business owners like Laryssa Korbutiak of ORESTA Organic Skin Care Apothecary says losing parking spots has led to lost revenue.
“If you're driving by and you want to stop by to pick up something and there's no parking you're going to drive by…it's something I would do too if I couldn't find parking,” Korbutiak says.
A demolition permit was approved but the owner changed his mind. Now the building is being re-assessed to see if it will be able to withstand winter conditions. That report is expected within days.
Richard Ashe, the manager of permit approvals, told the Built Heritage Sub-Committee on Thursday that the initial engineering report suggested it wasn’t a matter of if, but when the building would be demolished.
“He’s saying that winter is going to be detrimental to the structural stability of the building and it’s just a matter of when the city and when his recommendation would be that the building poses a risk to failure,” Ashe said of the findings of an engineer
Councillor Jeff Leiper says because it’s a public safety issue, the building won’t be allowed to sit for years like Somerset House.
“Last summer the expert engineer who was retained by the city said the building won’t stand being up for the winter—the freeze-thaws, the snow, the cold—there’s no reason to believe that that assessment will have changed which means there’s going to be a public safety reason to take the building down sooner rather than later,” says Leiper.