‘Vacant and unsafe’

Published 9:22 pm Saturday, August 5, 2017

Godwin Boulevard property case continued

A court case involving the former Lowe’s building on Godwin Boulevard was given a three-month extension in court on Thursday to allow the owner to explore options for the property.

The case for zoning violations was continued with the agreement of the city.

After court last week, Charles Lollar, attorney for the owner, said the owner is examining options for the property and has received quotes for different options.

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“I think there will definitely be some changes,” he said.

The property is located at 3061 Godwin Blvd. and has been vacant since 2001, when the company relocated to North Main Street. The old building has graffiti on its façade and grass growing through multiple cracks in the parking lot, including around an old light pole and cart corral.

Lollar said outside of court on Thursday that he didn’t know the price the property is listed for but noted that is likely to change depending on what option is chosen for the property.

Until recently, the property has a real estate sign out front for Lee Ann Shelton Matthews, but it does not appear to be listed on her website. In 2015, website LoopNet.com showed it listed for $4 million, but it no longer appears to be listed on that site, either.

In May, the city issued a notice of violation to Project Ten LLC, in care of Sherrell J. Aston, who has an address on Park Avenue in New York City, where his plastic surgery practice is located.

In the violation letter, obtained by a Freedom of Information Act request, the city noted it secured the “vacant and open unsafe structure” and corrected violations, applying the cost as a lien on the property. The cost to secure the structure was $2,320, which the owner had paid, city spokeswoman Diana Klink wrote in an email.

Last August and last June, the building was cited for the same thing, as well as for overgrown grass, weeds and shrubby and failure to remove trash and debris.

Last June, the building also was cited for being vacant and open, and the city corrected the issue.

In September, the property was cited for a number of deficiencies, including dilapidated fencing, deteriorated exterior doors, deteriorated roof, dilapidated doors and entrances, flaking paint and more.

In April, the city sent Project Ten LLC a letter stating the structure was found to be dangerous and unsafe and deemed a public nuisance.

“The structure presents an immediate threat to life or property,” the letter stated. “You have previously been notified to repair or raze and remove the referenced structure.”

The same month, the city issued a notice of demolition. It would demolish the building if the issues were not corrected by May 23, the notice stated. However, the case in court has been continued since then.

The city also had a lien on the property for delinquent taxes, according to the notice of demolition. Klink said this bill for real estate storm water fees was originally for $4,032. Payment had been received in the amount of $1,213.80. Fees, interest and penalties have brought the current balance due to $3,452.52, she said.

Editor’s Note: The final paragraph has been changed to reflect clarification on the delinquent amount.