City plans tear-down of condemned, nuisance apartments

Condemned West Cove Apartments on 300 West, St. George, Utah, Jan. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A property on 300 West in St. George that has been an eyesore and a nuisance for the neighborhood for nearly a decade will soon be demolished.

The West Cove Apartments at 100 S. 300 W. with boarded-up doors and windows, fenced-off driveway, and weeds sprouting up through a sea of fallen leaves and patches of unkempt grass, will soon no longer be the sight that greets resident Jerry Cox when he walks out his front door.

Condemned West Cove Apartments on 300 West, St. George, Utah, Jan. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Condemned West Cove Apartments on 300 West, St. George, Utah, Jan. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

“I’m glad it’s being taken care of, but I’m not glad it took (the city) nine years to do it,” Cox said. His home sits directly across the street from the less than awe-inspiring sight of abandoned apartments.

The St. George City Council will be awarding a bid for $90,000, Thursday, to B. Hansen Construction to demolish the site.

Problems with the property have been ongoing since 2006, said Marc Mortensen, assistant to the city manager. The apartments were condemned by the city due to electrical concerns that posed a safety hazard for residents. The city has tried to work with the property owner but has had little luck in contacting him, Mortensen said.

“It’s been an eyesore and a safety factor,” Joe Bowcutt said. Bowcutt, a St. George Councilman, lives near the condemned apartments and said he’s seen them go from being nice starter homes for newlyweds and small families to their current state.

“It just seemed to deteriorate,” he said.

Condemned West Cove Apartments on 300 West, St. George, Utah, Jan. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Condemned West Cove Apartments on 300 West, St. George, Utah, Jan. 7, 2015 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Vagrants, squatters, vandalism and drug issues have been associated with the property over the years, Mortensen said.

“(Transients) stay the night, kids have drug parties and when a call is made to the police, it usually takes a long time for a response, only to have the problem-people already gone,” Cox said in a 2011 interview about the West Cove Apartments.

In a January 2013 follow up story by St. George News, Cox said he approached the city a number of times about tearing down the apartments, but was told at one point there was no money in the city budget for it.

Mortensen has maintained that the city wouldn’t have been able to legally demolish the apartment complex anyway, simply as the city did not own the property. However, city officials did their due diligence in trying to work with the property owner, he said. After exhausting their options, the matter was finally settled by a judge who finally gave the OK for the city to raze the apartments.

A tax lien has been placed on the property and the property owner will be left to pay the city back for the demolition cost.

“This is finally the conclusion we’re come to,” Mortensen said.

Foreclosed and condemned home on the Black Hill being torn down, St. George, Utah, Nov. 22, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News
Neighborhood residents rejoiced when they saw this foreclosed and condemned home on the Black Hill being torn down, St. George, Utah, Nov. 22, 2014 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

It would have been easier if the property owner had been willing to work with the city, Mortensen said. “We like the property owners to take care of the property,” he said, and pointed to the recent demolition of a foreclosed and condemned home at 663 W. 65 S. on the Black Hill.

The property owner, Fannie Mae, had the 7,000-square foot home at 663 West 65 South torn down in November 2014. The home had been through three separate owners and was eventually abandoned in recent years. The property was also hit with numerous code violations, some of which went back to 2007, according to city records.

Neighbors said vagrants sometimes stayed in the home which had become weathered and unsafe for habitation due to additions that hadn’t been built to code. Various animals and birds had also found their way into the home.

That home was torn down over two days between Nov. 22-23, 2014. The West Cove Apartments, once the bid is awarded by St. George City Council Thursday night, are projected to be demolished by the end of January following the removal of asbestos from the complex.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com
Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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20 Comments

  • sue January 7, 2015 at 7:55 pm

    What… no comments from the Troll Troupe? Maybe they are all out looking for a new place to live?

    • Aliceyn January 7, 2015 at 8:28 pm

      I hope so… They will not be missed…

  • Evil Twins Mommy January 7, 2015 at 8:22 pm

    Yay ¡!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • ladybugavenger January 7, 2015 at 8:57 pm

    This is the house…the house that had the meth dealer and his pregnant girlfriend in it, the one that was supplying meth to my son about 2 years ago, the place that I reported to sgpd. And by the way those two suppliers eventually were arrested on unrelated shares 🙂

    • ladybugavenger January 7, 2015 at 8:58 pm

      Good to see it demolished!!!

    • ladybugavenger January 7, 2015 at 9:01 pm

      I am referring to the house they mention in this article on 663 w 65 s

  • STG Truth January 7, 2015 at 11:49 pm

    Instead of this eyesore, it will be replaced with a forever vacant lot of dirt and tumble weed cause nobody wants to build downtown.

    • Nate January 8, 2015 at 11:06 pm

      Not true. I’ve seen several new homes built in downtown areas in recent years.

  • Big Bob January 8, 2015 at 12:28 am

    Who knew urban decay existed in sunny, mormon-run St George? Lol

    • Forever STG January 8, 2015 at 8:22 am

      What does mormon have to do with any of this?? I get so tired of hearing that!!

      • ladybugavenger January 8, 2015 at 10:29 am

        There is a cloud obstructing the view. We can’t deny that it is Mormon country here. Beautiful mountains and red rock here too!

    • Koolaid January 8, 2015 at 8:47 am

      You can’t see it because of the rainbows and skittles falling from the skies blocks it from your view.

      • Robb Willie January 8, 2015 at 10:47 am

        And it’s all you ever see, you myopic schmuck.

    • Robb Willie January 8, 2015 at 11:00 am

      Big Bob, try waking up before dark. Urban decay occurs in all cities. Decay occurs in all aspects of life. If you doubt it, take a look in the mirror.

  • sagemoon January 8, 2015 at 8:28 am

    Yay!!!!!

  • Koolaid January 8, 2015 at 8:46 am

    Doesn’t this place have some historical or emotional attachment value for which it should be preserved (at taxpayer expense)? Once torn town, will the city build another splashpad or carousel on that land?

    • Robb Willie January 8, 2015 at 10:57 am

      Did you read the article, Genius? Weeds, trash, drunks, squatters and drugs. Feeling emotional yet? How ’bout Historical? Did Lenny Bruce stick a needle in his arm there once? (Google him.) Yeah, I’ll bet you wet your pants a little bit when you wrote the part about ‘taxpayer expense’. Other people’s tax money: the very stuff, I imagine, that allows you to sit at home in your underpants taking cheap, repetitive and predictable shots at people that mean you no harm.

    • IN AN ALTERED STATE January 8, 2015 at 11:35 am

      Maybe the City will build a KOOLAID factory to go with those rainbows and skittles. Hahaha…..

      • Koolaid January 8, 2015 at 12:07 pm

        Isn’t there already a big KOOLAID factory in the middle of town, with a well from which tea party types drink, causing them to see everything through glossed over rosy spectacles?

  • Evil Twins Mommy January 8, 2015 at 11:55 am

    Well it would be a good place for a dance hall. and emergency police parking otherwise known as a Donut shop

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