‘It’s time to knock it down’

City construction and health officials will determine what it will take to raze the building on the former Wheatena property at Elizabeth and West Grand avenues.

“It’s time to knock it down,” said City Administrator and Redevelopment Director Peter Pelissier. The five-story building is structurally sound but has numerous broken windows, sustained recent storm damage, and is known to have “feet of pigeon droppings,” he said. Pelissier expects the Health Department can find grounds for demolition.

The developer, Matzel & Mumford, had asked the city not to pursue demolition previously so as not to interfere with efforts to acquire the property, Pelissier said. The trustee of the property and the developer have not been able to come to terms for acquisition but he suggested demolition might encourage the two sides to get together. Demolition could cost at least a half-million dollars, he added.

A K. Hovnanian Company, Matzel & Mumford have plans for a 130-unit condo complex at the former Wheatena and Quinn & Boden sites.