N. Main Building Damaged In 2017 Fire
The rest of a North Main Street building has been torn down following the start of the demolition last August.
Crystal Surdyk, city development director, told The Post-Journal earlier this week that HH Rauh Paving crews completed the clean up from demolishing 24 N. Main St., Jamestown, where a fire occurred in June 2017.
In July 2019, city officials ordered the emergency demolition of 24 N. Main Street due to the extensive fire damage, which was causing an imminent public safety threat. In July, the demolition of the top floor of the building was started, with the rest of the building being torn down recently.
Surdyk said because the building was not safe to inspect for asbestos and other contaminates, a controlled demolition was done, which led to the building being completely torn down at two different times.
“We had to do a controlled demolition. What that means is they treated it as if it has asbestos or lead or a number of other things. They treated it as if it were contaminated for safety reasons. Because of that they have to let (the site) sit for at last 10 days, if not longer,” she said. “It took them quite a long time to finish it up because it was such a big project. They had to schedule it out and coordinate it with other projects they were handling. Recently, they finally had time to do the whole thing.”
Surdyk said even though the building has been demolished, with the final clean up taking place Friday, the barriers and fencing around the property and sidewalk will remain.
“By removing the building, there is a hole where the basement is. We don’t want people to have access to that,” she said.
Surdyk said 24 N. Main St. used to be a part of the Arcade Building, which is located on the north side of the former building. She said there is a developer who has expressed interested in redeveloping the Arcade Building.
“It’s in the very early stages, so we cannot release any information,” she said about the potential redevelopment. “We will (provide the public more information) once we can because we’re very excited about it.”
Since the fire at 24 N. Main St. in 2017, city officials have been working to try and find a solution to stabilize the Arcade Building. In 2017, C&S Engineers Inc. was hired by the Gebbie Foundation to create a condition assessment report on the structure.
According to the executive summary of the condition assessment, the building, which was constructed in 1898, is in fair to good condition structurally, in regard to foundation and walls. However, due to poor maintenance, upkeep and lack of functioning utilities, there are multiple points of water infiltration throughout the building, which is vacant and abandoned. Over time, the structural integrity of the various floors has become compromised, and in some areas, unsafe. In addition, most windows are broken or missing, which further compromises the weather-tightness of the building.
As part of the study, costs were determined based on three scenarios: demolition, stabilization and renovation. The least expensive option was to stabilize the building. This included making the building weather-tight and to protect it from further vandalism. This evaluation included associated hazardous materials abatement as well as the replacement of the roof, doors and windows, which had an estimated cost of $1,455,000.
The second scenario in regards to cost is demolition. This included completely razing the building, abating all hazardous materials, rendering the site ready for future development. The estimated cost for demolition was $1,708,000.
The final option explored was a full restoration, including bringing the building up to current building and energy codes. For this scenario, a first floor retail space was considered and floors two through four, residential apartments. The estimated cost for the renovations is $16.4 million.
115-119 E. SECOND ST.
Surdyk said bids will be opened Tuesday for the demolition of 115-119 E. Second St. In January, it was announced the back wall of the building, which is near the Reg Lenna Center for the Arts, had collapsed.
Surdyk said once a company is selected to do the demolition the building will be torn down.
“It too will be a controlled demolition. It will be treated as if it has contaminated materials because it’s not safe to do an analysis beforehand,” she said. “(The building) will be (demolished) in the next couple of weeks.”