Jefferson City is giving the owner of a collapsing downtown building until the end of December to either demolish or repair the structure.
Neidert Properties LLC has until Nov. 5 to stabilize the building and until Dec. 31 to demolish or repair the structure, Jefferson City Building Official Larry Burkhardt told the News Tribune on Thursday.
If Neidert Properties does not stabilize the building, the city may hold an administrative hearing. If the hearing officer gives Jefferson City permission, the city could stabilize the building itself.
If the property is not demolished by Dec. 31, Burkhardt said, the city may begin the administrative hearing for the city to demolish the structure.
If Neidert Properties is taking corrective measures to fix the situation prior to the deadlines, Burkhardt said, the city will not hold the hearings.
In June, the west wall of 200 E. High St. partially collapsed due to water infiltration. The city later ruled the structure a dangerous building and ordered the tenants to vacate the property.
After city officials said all exterior load-bearing walls of the property had to be replaced, Andrew Neidert decided to demolish 200 E. High St, according to a news release from Michael Berry and Marshall Wilson, with Berry Wilson LLC.
Berry Wilson LLC, along with Turnbull & Stark LLC, were housed in 200 E. High St. before the wall partially collapsed.
"Though Mr. Neidert would like to save and restore 200 E. High, the same hidden decay which caused a portion of the structure to fail is almost certainly present in other places, making it impossible to assure against more failures in the future and the associated risk to lives and property," the news release states.
Neidert Properties has been prepared to demolish 200 E. High St. for about two months and has a demolition contractor on standby, according to the news release. However, the property shares a wall with 202 E. High St., owned by Carol and Ruben Wieberg. The building at 202 E. High St. is also structurally dependent on 204 E. High St.
Neidert Properties filed a declaratory judgment action against the Wiebergs on Monday in Cole County Circuit Court. The suit claims there is a "justiciable controversy" between the property owners regarding who is responsible for demolition or rebuilding and maintenance of the shared wall.
While the news release states Neidert Properties will not comment on its and the Wiebergs' efforts to permit demolition, it notes "nothing has been resolved."
The Wiebergs did not respond to the News Tribune's request for comment.
This is not a damages suit, and Neidert Properties is not seeking money, the news release states.
"Andy's desire is, and always has been, to find a way to make this prominent corner in downtown Jefferson City a place that everyone can be proud of," the news release states. "The current discussions with the city and the adjoining building's owners, as well as the lawsuit, are simply necessary and practical steps toward that goal."
Burkhardt sent a letter last week to Neidert, Carol Wieberg and Jay Seaver, owner of 204 E. High St., to request a meeting to discuss solutions to abate the issue, and all three property owners agreed to the meeting, Burkhardt previously said.
In the letter, Burkhardt gave the property owners until Wednesday to reach a solution. If they did not, the city would begin the demolition process of 200 E. High St. and 202 E. High St. If the city had to take action, it could also demolish 204 E. High St., depending on the damage to the building.
Since that letter, Burkhardt said, the property owners are working faster to abate the nuisance.
"The letter has stimulated the property owners to get moving a little bit more, and there's a lot more action going on now than there was for a while," he said. "It's been kind of deadlocked for a while. Now we're just making sure people know that we have to get something moving here. The status quo is not acceptable here, just sitting here doing nothing."
The building at 202 E. High St. is home to Love2Nourish and MO Juice. Matt Green currently is renovating 204 E. High St. with plans to open Bar Vino.