Through a press release issued today by Chief of Staff Chris Heinbaugh, Mayor Leppert announced that six more buildings in the Central Business District will be targeted for inclusion in the City’s vacant building clean-up initiative. These properties include 804 Pacific Avenue; 1600 Pacific Avenue; 1615 Main Street; 601 Elm Street; 807 Elm Street; and 500 S. Ervay Street. (1600 Pacific we believe will be addressed quickly due to new owners of the property who plan to convert it into hotel/condo).
Through the enforcement of stricter guidelines within code compliance, deteriorating vacant structures that pose health and safety concerns are given a reasonable amount of time to be brought into compliance. If compliance is not reached, owners are faced with hefty fines.
Phase One of the program began in Fall 2008, which identified seven vacant structures with significant code and fire safety violations. Five of those properties have been brought into compliance without litigation. The City’s press release further states:
“In two cases, the structures were sold to another party who completed the repairs and is now considering developing both buildings. In the case of the former Statler Hilton, the repairs are not only underway, but the renewed conversations proved so constructive they resulted in a project [led by DOWNTOWNDALLAS and AIA Dallas] to brighten up the front of the structure to make it more appealing for the opening of Main Street Garden across the street.”
To see a summary of Phase One and “before and after” photos, click here.