The city of Enid will have to find another way into the run-down Broadway Tower after its owners failed to appear at a code hearing Monday morning.
Code Department staff were unable to ask property owners Johnny and Dana Peart, with B.H. Tower LLC, if they would board up broken windows on the second floor of an adjoining two-story building, Assistant City Manager Scott Morris said.
Code staff declared the property dilapidated because of the broken windows during the private hearing Monday, City Manager Jerald Gilbert said Tuesday.
On March 19, city property inspector Brenda Gaspar and City Clerk Alissa Lack had provided a required 10-day notice of the private dilapidation hearing. Notice letters were posted on all buildings owned by B.H. Tower LLC from 114-124 E. Broadway.
Morris said the next step would be contractors entering the property and boarding up the windows themselves, or doing so from the outside.
Lack then will file with the county clerk a lien on a yet-undetermined amount of the property repairs that would have to be resolved before a property is transferred.
But Gilbert said the city has no way to get in touch with the owners, who live out of state and purchased the 15-story tower and its adjoining buildings in 2012 when they lived in Niagara Falls, N.Y.
The Pearts bought the deed for $250,000 after it failed to sell at auction, and the property is currently valued at over $588,000.
Though municipal code includes demolition as an option under dilapidation proceedings, Gilbert said the city does not intend to demolish the nearly 100-year-old historic tower, which is on the National Register of Historic Places.
He said he’d instead prefer the Pearts either
renovate the existing building or sell it to a willing buyer.
“That would be ideal,” Gilbert said.
Plans never came to fruition to renovate the tower and reopen it as a boutique hotel with retail stores, a lounge and some office space. Broadway Tower has 165 parking spaces, and there are 3,300 square feet per floor.
Article by Alex Ewald – Enid News & Eagle