The end could be near for downtown's Butt Ugly Building, one of the city's most visible eyesores.
The building's owner, Robert Danial of Florida-based Edwards Development, has filed paperwork with the city letting it know of his intent to demolish the building at 1161 Main St. The application for a demolition permit could be filed as early as next month, the city said.
The boarded-up tan box long ago earned its unflattering nickname, which has made its way into the city's vocabulary. The building has also been dragged into allegations of political corruption at city hall — a plan to sell it, demolish it and build condos in its place included a $100,000 fee paid to an ally of Mayor Eddie A. Perez. The building never sold, the fee was never paid and Perez denied any involvement.
Earlier this summer, city officials in the Department of Development Services said that the building's crumbling façade was unsafe and in need of repair. City inspectors put the building's owner on notice. But the building itself was structurally safe, the city said.
Mark McGovern, the city's director of development services, said he was "excited" by the news of the possible demolition.
As to the procedure, McGovern said that property owners seeking to demolish a building typically have to wait 90 days before applying for a permit after they've first made the city aware of their intentions. In this case, though, the city might expedite the request, McGovern said, allowing Danial to apply for his permit by Oct. 13.
McGovern said it's possible that the building could then come down by November, but noted that demolition permits have six-month windows.
Leslie Silverman, Danial's spokeswoman, said that the long process requires city and state approval on remediation work that includes asbestos.
"Because we're dotting all the i's and crossing all the t's and making sure everything is properly abated, it's a lengthier process," she said. "It's really important that it be done the correct way to protect the public and protect the environment. … But it's taking longer because all the right steps are being taken."
Reprinted with permission of the Hartford Courant.
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