West Side News

Prairie Township

Trustees seek to rid township of unsound apartments


The Prairie Township Board of Trustees passed a resolution Tuesday, Oct. 22 that guarantees 15 structurally unsound apartment buildings will be demolished.

The Prairie Township Board of Trustees will make sure that those buildings, owned by the Matrix real estate company and located off of Georges-ville Road, south of West Broad Street, are dealt with in a timely manner.

Trustee Steve Kennedy said the resolution passed at a special meeting Oct. 22 allows the township to step in with the demolition process by mid-December, should Matrix not sell the property or begin the demolition process itself.

At their Oct. 16 regular board meeting, trustees agreed to give Matrix an extension, which gives the company an opportunity to sell the property before it is required to pay for the demolition of the 15 structures.

Estimated cost of that demolition is approximately $3.7 million, township officials said.

Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker said the township notified Matrix over the summer about the unsound structures, stating that the township would take action if Matrix did not.

"Representatives from the property indicated a willingness to work with the township and proceed with the demolition process," Hatmaker said.

Should there be no new owner of the apartment complex, the township will move with the demolition, Hatmaker said. The complex made headlines in 2004 when fire swept through one of the buildings killing 10 people. The remnants of that building still stands.

Since notifying Matrix of the unsound structures, the township has allowed the real estate company extensions in the process to see if they can find a new owner, before they have to raze the buildings.

With the resolution passed on Tuesday, either way those buildings will come down.

"We passed a resolution to enter into an agreement with them, that no matter what happens at auction, the demo process will have to begin mid-December," Kennedy said.