A potential demolition order is looming, and the building is for sale.
For decades, it was home to Price Florist, but it’s now in “severe disrepair,” according to the Oak Ridge city staff.
In June, the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals declared the now-unused store on busy Oak Ridge Turnpike to be a nuisance and unfit for human occupation or use. The board stopped short of issuing a demolition order and gave the property owner 30 days to present a repair or demolition plan.
On Thursday, the board will reconsider a request from the city staff to order that the building be demolished or repaired, possibly within 60 days.
Property owner Patricia Warren, who lives in Crossville and said she was unaware of the building’s poor condition, said she wants to sell the property— last appraised at $212,800, according to state records—as soon as possible. She told board members last month that she is cleaning it up, and there is some interest in a sale of the 0.35-acre site, possibly to demolish the existing building and replace it with a new business.
The business itself is owned separately, and Warren said the tenants, who have been there four to five years, were supposed to maintain the property and mow the yard.
The original complaint against Price Florist came from a resident concerned about the yard. Then, an employee complained to the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, which contacted the city.
The city required an “emergency vacate” on May 1. The city staff said there are fire code violations at the building, a leaking roof, electrical hazards, plumbing issues, a toilet that doesn’t work, and broken concrete floors, among other things.
Also Thursday, the board will consider ordering the repair or demolition of two vacant homes, one at 109 Jellico Lane and the other at 140 Windham Road. The homes lack adequate ventilation, light, air, heat, or sanitary facilities, and they are “in a state of dilapidation due to disrepair, neglect,” the city staff said. The surrounding property is unmaintained, except, in one case, by neighbors, and both are public nuisances, the staff said.
The Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals meeting starts at 3 p.m. Thursday, July 11, in the Municipal Building Training Room.