TEXARKANA, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – City leaders are moving forward with plans to tear down a downtown building whose roof recently collapsed.
A portion of Broad Street in front of Regency House is still blocked off for safety after part of the collapsing roof fell onto the sidewalk last week.
The building was condemned in 2011. Over the years, city officials said they made multiple unsuccessful attempts to reach out to the property owner to address the condition of the building.
The state now owns the building and earlier this week, city leaders discussed purchasing it from the state.
Now, city leaders say the plan is to demolish the building as soon as possible, and worry about property ownership after the fact.
“Once we condemn a building, if it is in an unsafe condition, we can go in and tear down the building,” said Public Works Director Tyler Richards. “It’s not necessarily an easy process, because it’s extremely expensive, but we do have that right, if it’s in an unsafe condition, to go in and tear down the building. Even if we don’t own that property.”
Because the building has to be taken down by hand, Richards estimates it will take hundreds of thousands of dollars to demolish. He is currently collecting bids for the work.
“The city won’t see that money back, so it’s difficult to put that much money into something and not get anything back out of it,” said Richards. “But, we’re in a position now where we have to get it down. We have to spend that money to do it.”
Richards said he hopes to have the project started within the next month.
The road and sidewalk in front of Regency House will remain blocked until work is complete.
City leaders said they are hopeful the state will donate the property to the city after the demolition.