By Carol McCracken (Post # 330)
The City ordered demolition of the three-story building at 6 Washington Avenue began this morning when Engineered Products Co. arrived on the scene. The job is expected take about a week to complete said Stephen Milley, owner of the company. Part of the reason the demolition will take that long is the buildings’ proximity to traffic on Washington Avenue as well as to power lines in the area.
On November 2nd, the City Council voted unanimously that the building be razed because it had become a safety and fire hazard to the neighborhood at the base of the Hill.
Complicating the situation is the city’s requirement that Alec Altman, owner of Bingas Wingas, pay the city $150,000. for removal of potential rental units from the area by turning the property into a commercial property exclusively. Back in 1957, there were plans to include rental units on the property, but they never materialized said Altman in a telephone conversation. The space specificed for rental units actually was used for storage. As of today, the conflict over the $150,000 has not been resolved. It doesn’t appear that it will be resolved in the near future, either.
Altman’s plans for the property that for years housed a dry cleaning business are incomplete. By the end of next week, he expects the job to be completed including filling in the area. He might sell the property or if he decided at some later date to develop the property, he’d have to pay the City the $150,000 in question.
“I’ve created 120 jobs in the area and all people are talking about is my falling down building,” Altman said. “I love Portland, but its sometimes very hard to do business here,” he said.