Blight beat: Nearly one year after fire, Ypsilanti Township apartment building demolition moves forward
An Ypsilanti Township apartment building damaged in a Molotov cocktail attack nearly a year ago will soon be demolished.
The owner of the building, Ken Sharrock, received a $600,000 settlement from Hastings Mutual, but he and an insurance adjuster claimed they needed $150,000 more to bring the building into compliance with current fire codes.
Township Building Director Ron Fulton disagreed that the building needed to meet new fire codes.
To a degree, both parties agreed on what is damaged in the interior. Four of eight units needed to be stripped down to the studs. Six of eight trusses also were damaged. But Fulton''s assessment found no structural damage. He determined most of the damage is related to smoke and water.
Tom Perkins | For AnnArbor.com
Sharrock and the insurance adjuster, Craig Trombley of American Adjusters, appealed Fulton’s decision to the Ypsilanti Township Construction Board of Appeals. The board ruled in the township’s favor.
Trombley and Sharrock then asked the State of Michigan Bureau of Building Codes to hear their case.
In the meantime, the township had filed a lawsuit with the Washtenaw County Circuit Court that asked a judge to order the building repaired or demolished because it sat vacant for so long.
The State of Michigan Bureau of Building Codes declined to hear the case until the lawsuit was settled.
Shortly after, the township received a demolition permit application from a demolition company on behalf of Sharrock. The permit was issued on June 6 and is good for 60 days.
The estimate for the job is $25,000, according to township documents.
Sharrock declined to comment until the court case is settled.
Mike Radzik, director of the township’s office of community standards, said the township has never received any indication that Sharrock intended to rebuild.
“In the absence of any firm plan to rebuild, the building needs to be demolished,” Radzik said, adding that the case would likely be closed after the building is torn down.
Tom Perkins is a freelance reporter. Contact the AnnArbor.com news desk at firstname.lastname@example.org.