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Brainerd City Council: Downtown building slated for demolition

The 13-unit motel building in Brainerd at 507 South Sixth St. was ordered to be demolished Monday by the Brainerd City Council. The council adopted a resolution calling the building hazardous. Steve Kohls/ Brainerd Dispatch1 / 2
The 13-unit motel building located in downtown Brainerd at 507 South Sixth St. was ordered to be demolished Monday by the Brainerd City Council. The building is considered hazardous and unsafe to occupy. Steve Kohls/ Brainerd Dispatch2 / 2

The Brainerd City Council Monday night adopted a resolution declaring a downtown Brainerd building hazardous and ordering its removal.

The building is located at 507 South Sixth St. and contains a 13-unit motel building and a separate office building, both of which have fallen into disrepair. A garage building on the property is not included in the resolution.

Crow Wing County property tax records indicate the property owner is DBM Two Partnership Limited Liability Company of Golden Valley. According to business filing records from the Minnesota Secretary of State office, the company manager is Julian Jayasuriya from Golden Valley. Those records also indicate the company is inactive and its LLC status was terminated by the state office in February 2013.

The property has generated numerous calls to the Brainerd Police Department from people reporting suspicious activity, disturbances and trespassing, said city Administrator Jim Thoreen. According to information provided by city staff, from April 2015 to April 2017, the property generated 37 calls to the police department. This is about one call every three weeks.

According to the resolution, city building official Tim Caughey inspected the motel building on Feb. 22 and took photos of the interior and exterior of the property. Some of the photos were provided to the council members and detail the extent of the disrepair at the property.

"Mr. Caughey stated in his inspection report that the motel building exhibited overall foundation failure, structural and roof failure, and non-permitted, non-code compliant plumbing and mechanical alterations," the resolution reads.

Caughey inspected the office building on Feb. 27 and again took photos documenting the building's condition.

"Mr. Caughey stated in his inspection report that the office building exhibited structural and roof failure throughout the structure and non-permitted, non-code compliant plumbing and mechanical alterations," the resolution reads.

The resolution adopted Monday is the first step in a statutory process, city Attorney Joe Langel said. The property owner now has 30 days to remove the motel and 20 days to answer or challenge the resolution, he said. If the city's resolution is challenged, there would be good evidence to support the city's position, he said.

"This is a very bad building in very bad shape," Langel said.

If the property owner doesn't answer the resolution, the city files an order in Crow Wing County District Court and a fault hearing will be held, Langel said. If the court rules in the city's favor, the city then has the right to demolish the property and assess the costs against the property, he said. Thoreen noted the property has been delinquent on tax payments for two years.

Crow Wing County property tax records indicate the building was sold to DBM Two Partnership in June 2008 for $230,000. The 2017 assessed land value for the property is $51,400, while the estimated building value is $21,300. This adds up to a total value of $72,700. Same records indicate the property has been tax delinquent since 2015.

According to articles in the Brainerd Dispatch from March 2015, Jayasuriya hoped to turn the vacant motel building into a two-story motel with 40-60 units and possibly a swimming pool.

According to a search of Minnesota criminal records, Jayasuriya was convicted in 2003 in Hennepin County for a uniform building code violation. In 2004 in Hennepin County, a building owned by Jayasuriya was condemned and ordered to be vacated. He was also convicted of violating state code by not obtaining a building permit.

Spenser Bickett

Spenser Bickett covers the Brainerd City Council and education. A native of the Twin Cities, Bickett attended the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, where he majored in journalism with a minor in political science. After graduation, he worked for the International Falls Journal as a staff writer before coming to Brainerd.

 
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