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Demo set for old Turner building

BY Carolyn Muyskens - cmuyskens@chronicle-tribune.com

The old Turner building at 714 S. Adams St., which has been on and off the city’s demolition list for years, is finally coming down, Building Commissioner Jerry Foustnight said Monday.

The commissioner told the Board of Works the demolition contract has been awarded to Dave’s Excavating for $18,240, but he warned the board the cost of the whole project will probably rise to between $28,000 and $30,000 after adding on the cost of a new facade for Busy B’s Auto Cleanup, a business that shares a wall with the Adams Street structure, and the cost to bring in loads of dirt to fill the foundation of the building after it has been torn down.

Foustnight had told the Board of Works last spring the price of the demolition would be around $80,000. The difference in estimates was due to “legal issues” in the bidding process which the building commissioner described as a misunderstanding about what work was to be done.

The building is currently owned by the Ephesus Initiative, a nonprofit owned by Cathy Kerton-Johnson, who also owns the Bridge Cafe in Upland. She and her husband Nicholas had planned to turn the building into a cafe but ran out of funds for the project.

Foustnight told the board he would send a bill to the nonprofit for the demolition and if no payment is received the city will place a lien against the property. Foustnight also said the city was considering other legal options to try to recover the funds.

The building commissioner said he did not know when the demoliton would begin.

The Board of Works also approved the sale of a city-owned vacant lot at 1434 W. Jeffras Ave. for $800.