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story.lead_photo.caption Seen from Lafayette Street, the roof of Avenue HQ at 621 E. Capital Ave. remains damaged due to rain exposure Wednesday. Avenue HQ co-owner Holly Stitt said the three buildings at 619, 621 and 623 E. Capital Ave. will be demolished. Photo by Greta Cross / News Tribune.

The East Capitol Avenue buildings that housed Avenue HQ, the venue's office space and Campus Coworking Space will be demolished due to tornado and rain damage.

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The May 22 EF-3 tornado that swept through Jefferson City destroyed the second story of 623 E. Capitol Ave., where the Avenue HQ offices were located. The back portion of the building's second story is gone, and parts of the roof collapsed.

Property owner Holly Stitt recently put up a barrier along the side of the building facing Lafayette Street due to the roof shifting.

"The problem with that one is the fact that the water from the rain has been going in there all this time and it keeps continuing to move the roof, which slid the bricks apart," Stitt said. "At this point, with everything coming down and the water coming in, it's not structurally sound. It's kind of like a Jenga tower. Right now, it's holding its own — the shell is holding its own — but when you start to remove the roof and the walls that are starting to move, then it's going to make the rest of them crumble."

Stitt also did not receive information from her insurance company until last week, delaying plans for 623 E. Capitol Ave., built in 1905.

Bricks from the building at 623 E. Capitol Ave. have been falling onto the roof of 621 E. Capitol Ave., which housed the Avenue HQ venue. The tornado caused the roof to collapse and fill the large space with rubble, making the building structurally unsafe, Stitt said.

The building at 621 E. Capitol Ave. was built in 1975, Stitt said.

The building at 619 E. Capitol Ave., which used to house Campus Coworking Space, lost its roof and sustained damage inside. While the building could be salvageable, Stitt said, it is connected to 621 E. Capitol Ave. and would be demolished.

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The building at 619 E. Capitol Ave. was built in 1964.

Stitt purchased the three buildings in 2012 after they sat vacant for 11 years.

"The news was a little rough," she said. "I wasn't expecting — I knew I was going to have to demo some of it but not the whole thing."

Along with the three East Capitol Avenue buildings, Stitt owns 210 and 212 Marshall St., which were also hit by the twister. While 212 Marshall St. is salvageable — it needs a new roof and other repairs — 210 Marshall St. will be demolished, Stitt said.

All four buildings will be demolished down to their foundations.

"Now, I'm sitting at this point where I have five buildings, and I have one that's salvageable," she said. "All four are coming down. It's a rough thing for me to follow."

After she gets the required city permits, Stitt said, a contractor will start demolishing the buildings. She said demolition may start as early as next week.

Stitt plans to salvage bricks and other architectural features from 623 E. Capitol Ave. She will also salvage architectural features from the other buildings.

She plans to rebuild 623 E. Capitol Ave. and return it to its original glory using the salvageable items. The building will most likely contain the office space, Stitt said, but she and business partner Quinten Rice must decide what to use the second story for.

Stitt said she wants to build something at 619 and 621 E. Capitol Ave. and "make it fit in better with the facade." She added she is unsure what the new building or buildings will look like and what their uses will be, especially since Campus Coworking Space found a new home at 609 E. High St. in June.

Avenue HQ will return though, Stitt said, but they are unsure what the venue will look like in its new form.

Stitt said she plans to speak with architects to design the new buildings soon but was unsure of a timeline.

"We're not done, just changing our little way, walking an unknown path," she said.

As for 210 Marshall St., Stitt said, the contractor will put a cap on the foundation and "let it sit until I can deal with it because it's just a lot to deal with at once."

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