City taking Gastineau Apts owners to trial to recoup demolition costs

Mitch McGraw uses an excavator to topple the Gastineau Apartments walls facing Franklin Street in January 2016.

James Barrett, owner of the twice-burned, now-demolished Gastineau Apartments, has a date with the city of Juneau, and they’re not going to dinner.

 

In early March, the city filed a lawsuit against Barrett and his mother, Kathleen — individually and on behalf of Gastineau Apartments LLC — to recover the cost of tearing down the blighted building at the end of last year.


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In a scheduling hearing Tuesday, Juneau Superior Court Judge Philip Pallenberg set the trial date for June 26, 2017.

“We exercised our rights within the law to abate a public nuisance, and now we’re seeking to recover those abatement costs,” City Attorney Amy Mead told the Empire in a phone interview Thursday.

The city is asking for an entry of judgment against the Barretts “in the amount of total costs incurred” by the city to demolish the three apartment buildings, Mead wrote in the complaint. As of March 2, when Mead filed the complaint, the city had spent nearly $1.3 million taking the buildings down.

That number will likely be about $300,000 more by the time the city finishes paying the contractors, outside consultants and others who helped in the process.

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