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Friday, November 25, 2011

Flood Free City Hall Awaits Plan

Almost a year ago, a broken sprinkler pipe flooded Tacoma’s Old City Hall and washed away the building’s few remaining tenants.

Two of them have set up new storefronts, but it wasn’t easy. Meanwhile, the historic building and city icon sits empty.

It’s been cleaned of most of its water-damaged debris, and it has adequate heat and fire-suppression systems. But Old City Hall isn’t out of the woods. Since early this year, the owner has been working with the City of Tacoma to resolve a derelict building complaint spawned by the day-before-Thanksgiving flood.

Many of the key items have been resolved, but Seattle-based The Stratford Co. faces a Dec. 31 deadline on other items such as repairs of doors, floors, walls and ceilings.

“At this point, the building has been stabilized. It’s weather-protected at a minimum,” city code inspection supervisor Dan McConaughy said Tuesday. But by the end of the year, McConaughy said Stratford must have a plan to complete the work at 625 Commerce St.

Stratford founder and president George Webb said Monday that re-doing the interior doesn’t make sense until it’s clear who will be using the space.

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