Lincoln Council votes to start condemning moldy buildings


LINCOLN — The city plans to condemn and raze a building that most recently housed a restaurant but began as an apple shed many years ago.

On July 19, the City Council authorized City Attorney Steve Zega to initiate proceedings to condemn the building at 300 E. Pridemore Drive.

Mayor Doug Hutchens requested council support to condemn and raze the building. He said the structure has a tenant who tried to renovate to open a restaurant. However, a mold inspection came back with results indicating that part of the walls and ceiling should be replaced, he said.

“It is suggested that no one enter the building without a mask,” Hutchens told council members.

He added that the mold problem cannot be solved until the drainage problems are solved, and the only way to solve the drainage problems is to raise the building.

“He should have been convicted 20 years ago,” council member Johnny Stowers said, agreeing with Hutchens’ request.

The building is owned by La Finca LLC, according to Washington County property records. Records show the property was first owned by Bryan and Ruth Reed in 1977. It was sold to Vincente and Veronica Perea in 2004 and sold to La Finca LLC in 2005.

According to records from the Washington County Enterprise-Leader newspaper, the building was last used as a Mexican restaurant called La Hacienda Monzerat. The Lincoln Chamber of Commerce sponsored a ribbon cutting for the restaurant in September 2018.

Zega said he would get the title work completed for the property and then return to council for further action.

City business manager Rhonda Hulse said the city will need to contract with a company for an asbestos survey. If the building contains asbestos, it will need to be removed, she said.

“It’s an expensive proposition,” Hutchens said, noting that the city still has a lien to recoup the costs of its condemnation and demolition proceedings against the former Townhouse apartments on North Carter Street.

Zega said the total expense to raze the building was $48,000. With rising costs, he estimated it could cost roughly the same amount to condemn and raze the building on Pridemore Drive.

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