Nov. 10 2008 12:00 AM

The demolition starts today

(Neal McNamara/City Pulse)
Finally, it’s coming down.

The owner of 711 E. Kalamazoo St., that burned pile of bricks just two blocks from downtown, issued a press release this afternoon saying that the building had begun to be torn down today.

According to the press release, Kevin Schoen, the building’s owner, reached an agreement with his insurance provider (Auto-Owner’s) over a settlement. The building burned down and was partially demolished 22 months ago.

The claim was settled by arbitration on Oct. 22 and Schoen was paid the settlement Friday — just 24 hours after City Attorney Brigham Smith had threatened to go to court to get the building taken down; a city-issued make safe or demolish order had expired Thursday, and the building was still standing.

“I greatly appreciate the patient and understanding of the City Council, neighbors and the mayor’s office for us to work out a solution,” Schoen said in the release.

Council passed the make safe or demolish resolution Sept. 29. Smith had sent a letter to Schoen, who is also an owner of Internet provider, which needed to be signed and returned to the City by the close of business Thursday. The agreement stipulated that Schoen had 15 days to complete demolition of the property and would require him to foot the bill.

The building sits just west of Pennsylvania Avenue and has been vacant since a December 2006 fire. The fire came as Schoen was renovating the former cold storage warehouse into lofts and office space.

The cost of demolition has been estimated at around $150,000.