Update on Oct. 20: All of the necessary documentation for a demolition permit was submitted and is in order for 14 E. Chambers St. The demolition process, which will be handled by the property owner, may proceed at any time with completion no later than Friday, Oct. 27.
We would like to address a matter that City of Cleburne officials have been collaboratively trying to fix for over two years—the privately owned building at 14 E. Chambers St. We understand the deep historical and sentimental value that this structure holds for many of our residents, and we likewise share your concern for its deteriorating condition.
Over the years, the City has made every effort to work with the property owners to address the structural issues and preserve the building's integrity. Our shared goal has always been to maintain the beauty and historical significance of our community. The City incurred a cost of slightly more than one hundred and eight thousand dollars ($108,000.00), including materials and labor, to secure and save the main structure and the Property because of the initial collapse in June of 2021. Shortly thereafter, the City and property owners agreed to a payment plan arrangement that would allow them to pay back over time a portion of the amount lawfully owed to the City for the emergency costs to secure the building. This was memorialized in an agreement known as the “Temporary Bridge Agreement related to 14 East Chambers.” As part of that 2021 Temporary Agreement, the City and property owners agreed that each party would work towards what would be known as the “Permanent Agreement” that would accomplish a complete rehabilitation of the Property.
Despite the City’s attempts over the next two (2) years, a Permanent Agreement was never entered into with the property owners. The property owners have proclaimed issues concerning the hiring of a prospective contractor to complete the job, current shortages of material and labor in the construction industry, and the rising cost of completing the existing repair plan have plagued them. As such, the property owners made no progress on necessary structural repairs or rehabilitation and have informed us that the rehabilitation has become “cost prohibitive.”
Despite our best efforts and numerous attempts, the condition of the building has continued to worsen, culminating in a second collapse that occurred on the evening of September 14, 2023. As a result, the building has now reached a point where we believe it presents a significant safety hazard to the surrounding area that must be addressed immediately. It is also causing street lane closures, and negatively impacting the operations of adjacent businesses. We are left with no choice but to take legal action and have filed a petition with the courts to require the property owner to demolish the building, or should they fail to do so, authorize the City to take such action.
We want to assure you that this decision has not been taken lightly. However, our utmost priority is the safety and well-being of our community, and we cannot allow the current state of this building to jeopardize that. Thank you for your understanding as we navigate this challenging decision. Our commitment to the well-being and vibrancy of our City remains unwavering.