A city board on Thursday will again hear the two cases against the owners of a commercial building judged to be “in disrepair” near the Magic Wok restaurant in central Oak Ridge.
In February, the Oak Ridge Board of Building and Housing Code Appeals tabled a demolition or repair order for 60 days to give the owners, Ma Shiu-Yen Wang and Ta-Shun Etal, time to sell the damaged property or develop a repair or demolition plan, the city staff said.
That 60-day postponement expired last Sunday.
The two cases concern the 50,000-square-feet commercial building at 123 and 135 E. Tyrone Road, just north of Oak Ridge Turnpike near Jackson Square. They exclude the manufactured structure that houses the Magic Wok, but they do include the areas in the small shopping center that have housed a dry cleaner, thrift store, wig shop, Mexican grocery, and the Magic Wok’s food preparation and overflow dining areas.
In an agenda for Thursday’s meeting, the city staff said the partially occupied structure was declared unfit for human occupation or use because of code violations.
“It is in a state of disrepair and lacks adequate facilities for egress in the case of fire or panic,” the agenda said. “Roof and interior throughout the building have remained insufficiently maintained for several years. This has allowed further dilapidation and decay to occur in the majority of the building, which increases the hazards of fire, accident, or other. Required fire sprinkler system throughout is out of service due to a catastrophic failure, which further causes the entire building to be dangerous to the health and safety of the occupants and general public.”
The staff said the estimated cost of repairs exceeds 50 percent of the building’s value.
In February, a longtime dry cleaner located in the small shopping center was given 10 days to vacate, but it’s not clear if the business has moved out yet.
This winter, the city staff said 40 percent of the overall structure was deemed unsafe for human occupation or use in November 1997, and a city walk-through the following month resulted in a space-by-space account of violations that were reported to the owners by letter in February 1998.
“To date, there appears to have been no substantial building or fire safety improvements in accordance with adopted building or fire code requirements over the past 17 years,” according to a Feb. 19 memo from city employees Denny Boss, Josh Waldo, and Matt Widner.
Thursday’s meeting starts at 3 p.m. in the Municipal Building Training Room.