Dorri Partain 
Assistant Editor 

Northeast resident and rental property owner Joseph Quinn has been on the dance floor with multiple City departments, seeking resolution for a property he doesn’t even own.

That property, a six-plex apartment building, sits about 6 feet west of a home Quinn owns and rents and began showing signs of structural issues last fall, when he noticed the walls on the building’s east side were starting to bulge outward, toward his property.

Photo by Dorri Partain

Quinn called the 311 Action Center and reported the issue at 3236 Anderson in October 2023. That case was still open when the inevitable happened on January 19. The bulging wall gave way, leaving a huge hole in the wall, with bricks, a window, and plaster chunks in a pile on Quinn’s rental property.

By then, Quinn had gone beyond just calling 311; he reached out to the building’s owner, Birdcage Enterprises LLC, his city council person, and the codes inspector handling the case.

Fed up with not getting any action, Quinn contacted The Northeast News. Photos of the damaged building were taken and we published an opinion about the situation in our February 14 issue titled, If a building wall collapses in the city, does anyone hear it?

According to the 311 Parcel Viewer, a web page that provides access to open code cases, the building was declared dangerous on Tuesday, February 27.  At that time, the building was still occupied by at least three families according to Sherae Honeycutt, press secretary for the City Manager’s office.

Orange netting “protects” neighboring residents | Photo by Dorri Partain

Honeycutt explained that the process in reporting the dangerous situation would have been easier if the six-plex’s owner had registered the property with the Healthy Homes program, a requirement for all rental properties in the Kansas City city limits.

Once declared dangerous, the property owner has 48 hours to obtain their own demolition contract or the city will bid it out.  Barring any delays due to the bidding process, weather, or other circumstances, Honeycutt stated the building would be demolished or in the process of by March 15. We published that update in our March 13 issue.

While Quinn was concerned about having a building that size being demolished and what steps would be taken to protect his property, he was at least relieved that the situation was finally coming to a close.

Rubble continues to fall from the building at 3236 Anderson. Taken May 17 | Photo by Dorri Partain

But don’t take off your shoes, this slow dance isn’t over yet.

Birdcage Enterprises LLC  requested a Stay of Demolition to determine the scope of repairs.  The entire building was draped in orange safety netting and large particle board barriers were built and set against Quinn’s property to “protect” it from falling bricks, or whatever. Various workers came and went but no one made an effort to clear the debris from the January collapse off of Quinn’s property. 

A request from the Northeast News to find out what permits had been issued was submitted to the City’s media department on April 26 after Quinn told us that neither the codes inspector nor the contractor that had been on site was responding to his texts. While much of this information would normally be available through the 311 Parcel Viewer, the webpage hasn’t been accessible since earlier this month, along with most City departments.

The building’s windows are now sitting on Quinn’s property. | Photo by Dorri Partain

Earlier this month, Quinn’s tenant, a single mother with three children, moved out after expressing safety issues with the uncertainty with the property next door. On top of the loss of revenue from his property, now he doesn’t know how long it will be before he finds a new tenant, given the current situation. And he can’t even clean out the building of what she’s leaving behind because Bulky Pickup can’t schedule dates due the City’s computer system being down.  

Unlike Jackson County, which was quick to inform residents of issues last month when computer systems went down, Kansas City kept residents basically in the dark until a press conference on May 15, weeks after issues had surfaced, and not addressing the reason for the issues. Several departments have been affected, namely Compass KC, the city’s online permit site. Contractors haven’t been able to get permits to either begin work, or inspections to continue work even if they already have a permit as everything is now handled online instead of in person at City Hall.

In the meantime, repairs have basically come to a halt and the gaping hole on the building’s east side has not even been shored up to prevent further collapse. For now, Quinn, along with the Northeast News, are waiting and watching as this dance marathon of the dangerous building shuffle continues to drag on.