Source: Nicole Cooke | DemocratB&P Excavating began demolition of the former Broadway Arms building, located in the 200 block of East Broadway Boulevard, Monday, Oct. 10, 2016.
Another Sedalia building is being removed from Broadway Boulevard, as crews began demolition on the Broadway Arms structure Monday.
Workers from B&P Excavating began prepping the building, located in the 200 block of East Broadway Boulevard, Monday morning, removing outdoor staircases and having the Sedalia Police Department check to make sure no one was inside. The first bricks started to fall just before noon, and workers were on site all day. City of Sedalia Chief Building Inspector Andy Burt said they expected the work to take a total of two weeks, including demolition, clean-up and creating a level lot.
The building, believed to have been built in the late 1920s, has been vacant for about 15 years, Burt said.
“We’ve been monitoring cracks on the walls and they have been getting larger, there’s a significant portion of the rear that had collapsed,” he said of the building. “It’s been vacant for many years, attracted nuisance, (so the city) thought it was time it be demolished.”
City Administrator Gary Edwards said the demolition included funds from the city’s demolition budget as well as funds from the Midtown TIF, as demolition of Broadway Arms was included in the most recent amendment passed by the Sedalia TIF (Tax Increment Financing) Commission earlier this year; the amendment included $125,000 for Broadway Arms.
Some citizens have asked why the building sat vacant so long, and the answer is slightly complicated. From the city’s standpoint, Burt said the building was “expensive to tear down, so we put it off until it was absolutely necessary to do.”
“It was previously an abandoned property, there were some asbestos issues related with the property so it was very expensive to have it demolished,” he explained. “It was a matter of making sure got all that taken care of.”
The asbestos was removed prior to B&P workers beginning demolition.
The land is owned by the Pettis County Trustee, Scott Gardner, as of a few years ago. Burt said any work done by the city on the lot will be a tax lien against the property.
“If someone becomes delinquent and (the building) has been attempted to be sold a certain number of times and there are no bidders for it to take it for the amount of taxes against the property, then it’s sold to the trustee,” Pettis County Collector Marsha Boeschen explained. “… What the trustee does is they work on behalf of the county to attempt to collect all taxes due.”
Local historian Rhonda Chalfant said the building is an art deco style, which she estimates dates the building to the 1920s or 1930s.
“It was originally an upscale apartment with really neat art deco interior, door knobs and such,” Chalfant said. “… It did have an underground parking garage.”
In the 1980s, it became housing for developmentally disabled adults, Chalfant added. As B&P workers began Monday, pieces of furniture could be seen falling out of the building, as the top two floors still had some furniture left behind. Chalfant, who recently went inside the building with city officials to help with documenting the building, said much of the furniture was “in very bad condition” and almost all the wiring had been stripped out.
“It’s just a shame that it was abandoned and left to ruin,” Chalfant said.
There are no plans for the space once demolition is complete. After the debris is removed, it will turn into a grassy vacant lot.
Nicole Cooke can be reached at 660-530-0138 or on Twitter @NicoleRCooke.