I would always rather see a building reused than demolished. For the past twelve years, I have taken a firm but reasonable line on demolitions. As a rule, we do NOT allow any demolition unless the building has little significance - or the building is a true danger to health and safety or it stands in the way of a development that will significantly advance the City's status as a quality place to live, work, and play.
The long-term future of the Cupples 7 building does not look bright. It did not have a good winter. City engineers believe it is now an imminent danger. They are afraid it will collapse and hurt someone.
The City does not have the millions of dollars necessary to truly "mothball" Cupples 7 and abate the danger. I took the administrative and legal steps necessary to make sure it remained standing as long as possible without endangering the public.
Even though we do not own the building, we put out two requests for proposals-- the first in November-- to find a new owner to save it. We sent the RFP to preservationists, developers, and a wide range of people we thought might have an interest. We have had nibbles. Unfortunately, no one has stepped forward ready to make the substantial investment needed to abate the immediate danger of collapse and to redevelop the building.
We are almost out of time. The variable is finding a developer with money who is ready to commit to immediately stabilizing the building. If one is out there, this is the last moment to come forward.
The City's other interest - hundreds of thousands of dollars in unpaid taxes - can be pursued in court.