Eyesore to sore subject: Buildings untouched after windstorm - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Eyesore to sore subject: Buildings untouched after windstorm

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The old Greek To Me building at 6th and Hampshire still sits with a shredded tarp and crumbling walls a year after being damaged in last July's windstorm The old Greek To Me building at 6th and Hampshire still sits with a shredded tarp and crumbling walls a year after being damaged in last July's windstorm
QUINCY, Ill. (WGEM) -

The old Greek to Me building is not only and eyesore; It became a sore subject. Some think it's a slap in the face to District business owners trying to beautify the area and attract more business.

A shredded tarp and crumbling bricks mark the spot where the building stands a year after a violent windstorm July 13, 2015.

"It looks awful over there," Employee Jane Haslem said. "It just aggravates the heck out of me." 

"I just think they need to do something and they needed to do it six months ago," said Silhouette Shoppe owner Linda Simons.

Home Bank owns the foreclosed building near 6th and Hampshire and said it's been in talks with a potential buyer since January. The city told WGEM the deal could be sealed by May but nothing has happened.

"A lot of this goes back to trying to get a settlement check out of the insurance company and the argument that went forward and the legal problems they had," said City Planner Chuck Bevelheimer

That's the same story we heard a few months ago. Bevelheimer says the city could fine Home Bank $150 a day for code violations if a judge agreed but Bevelheimer doesn't think that's wise. 

"The bank hasn't been cited because we knew where the bank was at in the process," he said. "The bank was selling it to a buyer. and it seems to me a waste of taxpayers' money to burn legal time and effort take the bank to court when they have a buyer in the wings?"

But with no specific timeline on a deal, Bevelheimer acknowledged the situation could drag on.

"Why are they allowed to get away with that for a whole year?" Haslem questioned. "I mean are we all on the same playing field here? Are we playing favorites because it's a bank?"

Some downtown workers feel there's a double standard and they're not only concerned by what you see, but what you can't see. Neighbors say feral cats, rodents and raccoons now call the old Greek to Me building home and play into even bigger safety concerns. 

"If a child is playing over there and those bricks fell on somebody, who's gonna be paying for that?" Haslem questioned.

Bevelheimer says the bank is liable since it owns the property. While the building has been exposed to outside elements for a year, District officials are optimistic about its future.

"We feel like that building can still be saved," said District Executive Director Bruce Guthrie

"The city has not made an engineering assessment to this building. we haven't spent taxpayer money on structural evaluation.  we understand that the bank did do a structural evaluation with plans to sell the building," Bevelheimer added.

When WGEM pressed Home Bank's Vice President Clint Stewart for any kind of engineering analysis that would determine if this building is safe enough to rehab, he declined to comment, simply saying a deal to sell the building could come in a couple weeks.

The city planner wants that, hoping the building can be saved and fixed, not torn down.

Chuck Bevelheimer says the new owner wants commercial space on the first floor and residential on the upper floors but estimates it would cost $75,000 to $100.000 to renovate each floor.

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