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Owner of crumbling building sues downtown neighbor

Owner of crumbling building sues downtown neighbor

October 17th, 2018 by Nicole Roberts in Local News

The building at 200 E. High St. will is set to be demolished after the west wall partially collapsed in June 2018 due to water infiltration.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

The owner of a collapsing downtown Jefferson City building has filed a civil lawsuit against the owner of a connecting building.

Neidert Properties, LLC, owner of 200 E. High St., filed a civil suit against Carol and Ruben Wieberg, owners of 202 E. High St., in Cole County Circuit Court on Monday.

Andrew Neidert plans to demolish 200 E. High St. after the west wall, facing Madison Street, partially collapsed in June due to water infiltration. The property at 202 E. High St. shares an easterly wall with 200 E. High St., and the building at 202 E. High St. is also structurally dependent on 204 E. High St.

The suit states there is a "justiciable controversy" between Neidert Properties and the Wiebergs regarding who is responsible for demolition or rebuilding and maintenance of the shared wall.

The lawsuit states an 1898 agreement between the two property owners at that time conveyed a 1-foot strip running along the easterly edge of 200 E. High St. to the owner of 202 E. High St. The deed also gave the owner of 202 E. High St. permission to construct a building and insert beams and timbers into the easterly wall of 200 E. High St.

The agreement states the owner of 202 E. High St. could "enjoy and occupy" but would not own the easterly wall.

The civil suit adds this 1898 agreement would be nullified if the easterly wall was "condemned or destroyed by accident or providential causes."

The civil suit claims Neidert "owes no duty to (the Wiebergs) to preserve or maintain the east wall of 200 East High because (Neidert's) duty," under the 1898 agreement, was terminated since the easterly wall was "condemned or destroyed by accident or other providential cause."

Neidert Properties' attorney, Marshall Wilson of Berry Wilson LLC, did not return the News Tribune's requests for comment. Berry Wilson LLC, along with law firm Turnbull & Stark LLC, were housed in 200 E. High St.

Carol Wieberg told the News Tribune she wanted to speak with her lawyer before speaking with the media regarding the lawsuit. The suit does not list an attorney for the Wiebergs.

Jefferson City Building Official Larry Burkhardt sent a letter last week to Neidert, Carol Wieberg and Jay Seaver, owner of 204 E. High St., requesting a meeting to discuss solutions after little progress had been made by the property owners to abate the issue. All three property owners agreed to a meeting, Burkhardt previously said.

Burkhardt told the property owners they have until Oct. 24 to reach a solution. If they do not reach a solution, the city will order the demolition of 200 and 202 E. High St. — and possibly 204 E. High St. — depending on the damage to the building.

Love2Nourish and MO Juice are located inside 202 E. High St.

Matt Green currently is renovating 204 E. High St. with plans to open Bar Vino.

Jefferson City building inspectors filed an incomplete report after Neidert Properties renovated the third floor of 200 E. High St. in 2013, according to the report obtained by the News Tribune. While inspectors approved the building's electrical and plumbing systems, the report states, three other sections — including site inspection — were listed as pending. Burkhardt previously said the building inspectors might have properly inspected the building but, due to short staffing, the report could have been entered incorrectly.