City of Negaunee seeking lawsuit over Kirkwood demolition

NEGAUNEE — The city of Negaunee is pursuing a lawsuit against the owners of a building the city had to demolish.

The Kirkwood Building was planned for renovation, until the roof collapsed in 2019, and was deemed unsafe to surrounding buildings and the public. The city of Negaunee repeatedly asked the owner to abate the hazard, which they reportedly ignored. As a result, the city demolished the building.

While the hazardous building is gone, the city is seeking reimbursement for the demolition costs.

“The city has to be made whole again, because public dollars were expended on this recourse,” said Nate Heffron, Negaunee’s city manager. “So we want to make sure that the taxpayers’ money can potentially be returned to them and make them whole again. It isn’t the city’s job to take down buildings, but when the public’s health, safety and welfare are threatened, we have an obligation to do something.”

The city of Negaunee is seeking reimbursement of $209,795.

After the demolition, the city also had to repair the roofs of surrounding buildings, which were damaged while the Kirkwood Building was razed.

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