The proprietor of business buildings in Brewer has sued town, alleging that it illegally declared two of them harmful buildings and deliberate to demolish them.
Bruce Blackmer, 76, of Dedham claims the condemned buildings are usually not unsafe regardless of needing repairs, together with a brand new roof on one constructing. He’s searching for a short lived restraining order in Penobscot County Superior Courtroom to forestall town from tearing the buildings down.
Town claims in court docket filings that staff have tried to work with Blackmer since 2018 to get him to restore the buildings, however he has not mounted the unsafe situations. Blackmer alleges that town has not decided the buildings are structurally unsound and has not supplied to compensate him for condemning and seizing them, a violation of the Fifth Modification.
The condemned buildings are positioned at 77 South Predominant St. and 978 Wilson St., also called Route 1A. A 3rd constructing owned by Blackmer at 75 South Predominant St., that’s positioned in entrance of 77 South Predominant St., has not been deemed unsafe.
Town has contracts to demolish the buildings at a mixed value of greater than $72,000. Brewer has billed Blackmer to recoup these and different prices. The demolitions, set to start on Could 18, had been placed on maintain pending the end result of the lawsuit, filed on Could 16.
The brick buildings on South Predominant Road had been constructed within the late nineteenth century and are adjoining to Tozier’s Household Market. One of many buildings, 77 South Predominant St., overlooks the Brewer Riverwalk. Blackmer purchased the buildings to retailer private property and as an funding in 2000.
He mentioned Thursday that he’s had gives on the buildings, however gross sales haven’t gone by way of. The latest curiosity within the South Predominant Road constructing got here from somebody who needs to assemble a second ground with a restaurant overlooking the Penobscot River.
“I don’t see the purpose of placing on a brand new roof if somebody goes to take it off to place in a restaurant,” Blackmer mentioned Thursday.
His legal professional, Tim Pease of Bangor, mentioned town has elevated the assessed worth of property fivefold over the previous few years. It grew from $28,000 in 2020 to $141,300 in 2023, the grievance mentioned.
Assistant Metropolis Supervisor James Smith mentioned Thursday that regardless of the constructing’s disrepair, property values and assessments in south Brewer have elevated because the begin of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Smith additionally mentioned that the outlet within the roof of 77 South Predominant St. is seen from the Joshua Chamberlain Bridge.
“When town began coping with this in 2018, it was the dimensions of a Volkswagen Beetle; now, it’s the dimensions of a bus,” he mentioned.
Blackmer purchased the Wilson Road industrial property, constructed in 1959, in 1994. Through the years, it has housed a present store, a fence firm and a satellite tv for pc dish distributor, Blackmer mentioned Thursday. It’s positioned subsequent to a fireworks retailer close to the Holden city line.
In March 2018, Blackmer entered right into a lease settlement for that property with Nathan Reardon, 45, of Skowhegan and Plymouth, based on court docket paperwork filed by Brewer’s legal professional, Jonathan Pottle of Bangor. Reardon is serving a 20-month sentence in federal jail for illegally acquiring $60,000 by way of the Payroll Safety Program. He is because of be launched July 22, based on the U.S. Bureau of Prisons.
A month after signing the lease in 2018, town issued a cease-and-desist order for work Reardon began with out permits, based on Brewer. Reardon acquired a demolition allow a couple of months later, however didn’t comply with by way of on his plans. Brewer’s code enforcement workplace declared that constructing unsafe in August 2021, 4 months after Reardon was charged in U.S. District Courtroom in Bangor.
Brewer claims that Blackmer must be denied the non permanent restraining order as a result of he selected to not enchantment town’s October willpower that the buildings had been unsafe, however as a substitute filed the lawsuit at “the eleventh hour” as an “finish run across the remaining non-appealable harmful constructing selections and orders.”
Superior Courtroom Justice Ann Murray has not but scheduled a listening to within the case.