TOPEKA, Kan. The Fairlawn Green Apartment buildings that were damaged by a fire last summer could be demolished in the next two weeks, according to the City of Topeka.
A string of crime has plagued the apartments since the fire, including a double homicide and a drive-by shooting. Topeka West High School sits directly south of the complex.
“Nobody likes to have these,” says City Property Manager Mike Haugen. “You can put the area residents at risk. It can be an attractive nuisance for the community.”
The city determined the structure unsafe last year. Because there was insurance coverage on the property at the time of the fire, the owner and insurance company were given until September last year to figure out demolition plans.
The city has been waiting for the property owner and insurance company to tear it down – giving them multiple extensions to save taxpayers money.
In November the property owner notified the city that they had contracted a company for the demolition. A problem with asbestos delayed the demolition further.
“We’ve already been informed that the asbestos remediation has been complete late last week and they would start the demolition this week or next week,” says Haugen. “We’ll go out next week just to confirm that happened.”
If things are not up to good standards, the city may have to open another dangerous structure case.