City: Owner of collapsed building responsible for repairs - WNEM TV 5

City: Owner of collapsed building responsible for repairs

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
SAGINAW, MI (WNEM) -

Vacant structures are becoming eyesores in one Mid-Michigan downtown.

When it comes to fixing or demolishing the buildings many think the owner should be responsible, but the answer isn't that simple.

"We think what anyone would think, the building is in terrible disrepair," Attorney Peter Jensen said.

Jensen represents Saginaw Arcadia LLC. The company owns the building adjacent to TV5. Earlier this year a wall collapsed at the building and left an eyesore.

Jensen said the corporation has no money to fix the building.

"Anything we could do - demolition, reconstruction, improvement, it has no funds to do it. No contractor would accept a contract from us to fix it," Jensen said.

The city's chief inspector John Stemple said he doesn't know how many commercial buildings have been abandoned by their owners, but he insisted it is a very small amount and doesn't happen often.

As for the building next to TV5, Stemple said the owner is responsible for the repairs. The city can repair the structure and bill the owner, but the likelihood of receiving any money in return is not very good.

As for Jensen, he said the city was offered the building in the form of a quit claim deed to fast track the deal. Stemple said the city rejected that proposal and should not be expected to take on a problem.

Jensen insists the city should do something about the building since he claims his client can't.

"We certainly have no assets at this time and we have no source of getting assets. The city has a very big interest in this and they should step up to it and figure out what they have to do," Jensen said.

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