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3rd Street heritage home will face January demolition

A 121-year-old home in Grand Forks will be torn down as early as January.

Building inspector Dave Bruce told city council last week the owner of 7136 3rd Street stabilized it after a remediation order this summer.

He says the owner had fully intended to restore it but ran into problems hiring a professional engineer.

“Come November 1st, after apparently numerous unsuccessful attempts at securing the services of a professional engineer…either to give us the assurance that the way the place is now is fine or the renovations that were being proposed would be sufficient, he emailed me a demolition permit application,” Bruce said.

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“I guess he determined that was the ultimate conclusion.”

But Bruce says the application left the city in an “ambiguous state” because the timeline on when the demolition was going to happen was “when the time is right.”

The city asked for a more concrete timeline but hasn’t heard from the owner since, Bruce said.

Given the situation, the city is moving ahead on its own to demolish the house and charge the cost back to the property owner.

Bruce says he sat down with the owner and he “recognizes that” the cost for the city to do the work would be “pretty substantial,” versus doing it himself. The estimate for the city work is a little more than $50,000 ($1,000-2,000 for hazardous materials assessment, $20,000 for hazardous materials abatement and $30,000 for demolition, based on the cost of demolishing North Ruckle homes).

The city sent a lawyer’s letter last week giving two weeks’ notice to demolish the house, south of 72nd Avenue, next month. Bruce says quotes have already been received for the hazardous materials assessment.

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