Mitchell’s Main Street is in the process of saying goodbye to another building, ending a piece of history to the city’s downtown.
Built in the early 1900s, the former Palace City Pawn Shop building located at 115 and 117 N. Main St. has been deemed a nuisance by the city of Mitchell, and a pending verbal agreement with the property owner Austin McPeek seeks to have the building bulldozed May 1.
Mitchell Code Enforcement Officer Wade London cited a hole that recently collapsed on the south wall of the structure on 117 N. Main. It was deemed a public nuisance due to the noticeable damage from outside the building. The infrastructural damage to the building played a role in McPeek relocating his business to 700 N. Sanborn Blvd.
Davison County property records indicate the 117 N. Main building was constructed in 1910 and measures at 25 feet wide and 142 feet long, valued at $58,725.
“We got a call of a hole in the south wall awhile back, and we found major structural concerns,” London said. “That’s where it all started for declaring it a public nuisance.”
McPeek declined to comment on the building’s status, but officials with the city said McPeek has been “very cooperative” to work with during the process.
What started out as a corroding south wall in the past year led to bricks falling apart and onto a nearby parking lot, which is not owned by McPeek. The city’s order to correct covers both the 115 and 117 N. Main St. address, and discussions between the city and McPeek have entailed both structures being bulldozed.
Upon the first nuisance complaint, London sent a courtesy letter to McPeek asking for him to repair the major structural damages.
“They tried to patch and tarp the building, but the structural repairs were too severe,” London added, prompting an assessment conducted by a structural engineer.
During the structural engineer’s assessment of the building’s damage, a decision to request bulldozing the building was made.
While McPeek recently entered a verbal agreement with the city to bulldoze the entire building, City Attorney Justin Johnson said McPeek will need to apply for a permit to bulldoze structure.
London is awaiting a written authorization from McPeek, which he anticipates to see in the near future, marking the final step in moving forward with bulldozing.
The courtesy letter outlines the nuisance conditions of the property that needs maintenance or repair and allows an allotted amount of time for the property owner to adequately resolve the specified building damages, according to London.
McPeek’s downtown building isn’t alone in being deemed with nuisance conditions, as London said the city of Mitchell sent out 21 courtesy letters to property owners with Main Street buildings a few weeks ago, asking for them to adequately maintain the building in compliance with the city of Mitchell’s building codes.
According to London, property owners of five downtown buildings have completed resolving the specified nuisance conditions. Of the 21 Main Street buildings that received courtesy letters, London said minor cosmetic repairs make up the majority of nuisance conditions.
“A lot of cosmetic repairs are windows that may either be broke or boarded up,” London said.
According to London, the city hasn’t expressed any interest in buying the First and Main Street lot, which will remain in the hands of the owner McPeek.
London noted the financial burden as being the most significant challenge for upkeeping downtown buildings.
“I think a lot of the issues will be financing the costs to upkeep the buildings, because it can be expensive to repair older buildings, but they have to be addressed,” London said.
Regardless of that, London is optimistic about the future.
“Keeping the buildings we do have looking sharp will help growth in the long term in downtown Mitchell,” he said.