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.
“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.
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.
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.
- Neighborhood rejoices over demolition of condemned home
- Condemned apartments continue to prove a nuisance
- Residents: Clean up condemned West Cove apartments
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.