Old Sutton’s building coming down; 311 West Main no longer condemned

Published 10:12 am Thursday, November 16, 2017

Correction: A previous version of this story misidentified who is demolishing the old Sutton’s restaurant. The property owner, Coastal Advertising Company Inc., has contracted with MAS Excavation for the demolition.

Two different kinds of progress are being made on two dilapidated Danville buildings recently in the public eye: The former Sutton’s restaurant building is likely to be demolished within weeks, while the historic building at 311 W. Main St. has been improved to the point it is no longer on the city’s condemnation list.

Code Enforcement Director Bridgette Lester told Danville city commissioners this week that the work being done on 311 W. Main St. by Tim Montgomery has sufficiently improved the historic building’s condition to remove the condemnation status.

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According to a letter from Code Enforcement Officer Tom Broach, the building “is in renovation under the jurisdiction of the Boyle County Building Inspector and has met all requirements for renovation.”

File photo by Ben Kleppinger
Pedestrians walk by 311 W. Main St. in May. The building had been condemned for years, but has now been removed from the condemnation list.

The renovation process has required Montgomery to seek approval from the Danville Architectural Heritage Board multiple times as he replaces and repairs windows and doors. The AHB governs what can be done to the exteriors of historic buildings in the city’s historic overlay district, ensuring integrity of the buildings is not lost.

Montgomery was before the AHB again this week, gaining approval for the replacement of a door and door frame on the building.

Montgomery has owned 311 W. Main St. since June 30. The AHB has been involved with efforts to restore the building since 2010. In April, the AHB warned the City of Danville that it feared the “property is quickly going to be beyond what is financially feasible for any person to save.”

Lester was optimistic Monday about the progress made since then.

“They are moving along and progressing very nicely,” she said.

On the south end of town, Lester said the owner of the old Sutton’s restaurant building has a company — MAS Excavating — under contract to demolish it.

“They’re fixing to start clearing out stuff from the building for salvage value,” she said. “… It is under contract, so hopefully, we’ll see some things start happening in the next few weeks on that.”

A letter from Broach states that demolition could begin “as soon as next week” and MAS will be contacting the Boyle County building inspector for demolition permits.

The former restaurant has been condemned since June 2016. Heating and ventilation units on top of the building are falling in and Code Enforcement Officer Tom Broach has said the sky is visible through the roof from inside. City officials have said they have received many questions and comments from the public concerning what’s being done about the structure.

Danville Mayor Mike Perros said in August he wasn’t sure why it had taken the city so long to move forward with demolition plans. The California-based company that owns the building was given an order to demolish the structure within 90 days when the condemnation occurred 14 months ago, he said.

“My question would be next time, do we have to wait this long before we do anything?” Perros asked at the time.

The building is owned by Coastal Advertising Company Inc, which has a Canoga Park, California, address, Lester previously said. The company was given 90 days to comply with a demolition order after condemnation on June 17, 2016.

Broach said in August he had provided the company with information about local contractors who could work on the building, but it had been difficult for the company to make anything happen. People with the company in California don’t know any of the local contractors here, and the local contractors don’t know who they’re dealing with when a company calls from California, he said.

City Manager Ron Scott said in August that when the building was discussed with members of the Boyle County Industrial Foundation earlier in the year, they were “excited about cleaning up the eyesore, first of all, sending a better signal to those developments that are underway or coming, as we have with the new steakhouse; and having another opportunity for growth.”

Lester said Thursday that because the owner found a company to demolish the building, Danville will not need to pay for demolition or place a lien on the property.