UPDATE, a demolition permit was issued earlier this week and the building was demolished on Wednesday.
Building partially collapses in Avenue business parking lot The abandoned apartment building at 3211 Independence Avenue continues to be a safety and health issue to the community.
On Saturday, a portion of the west wall of the fire-ravaged and abandoned building collapsed in the parking lot of the 7-11 store immediately west of the property. According to a clerk at the store, the wall crashed down on an employee’s personal vehicle, causing severe damage to the car. No injuries were reported at the time the wall collapsed. Due to the extreme instability of the rest of the wall that’s standing, 7-11 store management taped off a portion of the 7-11 parking lot along with one side of the store’s double doors in order to help insure the safety of their customers.
The last time the building caught fire was in April and according to Fire Department sources on the scene that day, it was the third time they responded to fires there in a two month period, adding that over a twelve-month period, five or six fires had been reported at the building. The building has long been a squatting location for homeless people and Fire officials indicated that most all the blazes there were the cause of homeless people starting fires in and around the structure.
According to Melissa Kozakiewicz, Kansas City’s Chief Innovation Officer, there are presently over 400 buildings on the city’s Dangerous Buildings list. Kozakiewicz also stated that the city’s goal is to repurpose structures rather than tear them down. “When an emergency arises, we are no longer able to rehabilitate a building and must move forward with emergency demolition,” she said in an email. According to Kozakiewicz, the city was working on an emergency declaration for the building this morning and that the bid and demolition process would be complete “within hours.”