LONG BEACH — Local residents clapped and cheered as a dilapidated building was demolished Monday morning in Long Beach.
It was the final chapter for a once beneficial building turned community eyesore.
It took only a couple hours for crew from Lindstrom & Son Construction to reduce the former pharmacy turned thrift store into a dirt lot.
The morning demolition roused neighbors and nearby businesses, including Jane Webb, Pat Juberg and Hobo Junction owners Danny and Eve Lee, who gathered to observe and rejoice the removal of the blighted property, located at 1315 Pacific Ave. S.
From pharmacy to health hazard
The 1,200-square-foot building, built in 1940, was once a pharmacy and then a thrift store before falling into disrepair after sitting vacant in recent years. A leaking roof exacerbated the damage, leading to black mold spreading in the interior.
A Revocation of Occupancy letter addressed to owners Fairytale Land LLC was posted on the door last summer by the city. The letter, dated June 13, 2018, stated reasons the building was no longer in compliance with city code including:
• The building or property does not meet sanitary requirements; no potable water source — disconnected.
• The building does not meet heating and ventilation requirements; no electrical service — disconnected.
Long Beach building inspector Matt Bonney was on hand to witness the demolition Monday morning along with City Administrator David Glasson and Mayor Jerry Phillips.
“It’s a shame it’s come to this,” Glasson said as a backhoe busted the building into a pile of splintered boards and broken glass. “We worked two years to get him into compliance.”
A lien exists on the property, valued at $66,000, including more than $1,000 in back taxes owed, according to Taxsifter.com.
In August an asbestos removal team cleared the building, a $12,236 charge the city paid before the demolition could begin.
The city’s 2019 budget includes $35,000 for code enforcement projects. This year, city officials are working on more than a dozen code-violating properties, including two others owned by Fairytale Land LLC.