Almost a year after damage from heavy rain led to its evacuation, the Liberty Warehouse still has a hole in the roof and its owner is overdue on plans for making repairs.
Planning Director Steve Medlin issued a notice of violation to Greenfire Development after the company failed to submit architectural plans for dealing with "deficiencies" that led to the Liberty being declared in a state of "demolition by neglect."
The plans were due April 27, according to a schedule Greenfire submitted in February. Medlin said earlier this week that, if the plans were not submitted by today, he could issue a citation and begin levying punitive fines.
Medlin said Thursday he was to meet today with Greenfire's contractor.
Liberty Warehouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the last of more than a dozen tobacco auction houses that once operated in Durham's "Tobacco Row" just north of downtown.
In April 2011, the city condemned part of the building due to rotting in the roof and water damage. After a May 14 storm collapsed a section of roof, the entire building was condemned and the city began demolition-by-neglect proceedings. Owners of historic structures are required by Durham ordinance to keep them in sound condition.
Proceedings were postponed when Greenfire pledged to make repairs within six months, then put off another two months at the company's request. But city inspectors, touring the building Feb. 8, found exterior walls and foundations deteriorated, sagging floor and roof supports, ineffective waterproofing and numerous other faults contributing "to a hazardous or unsafe condition" in the Liberty's southern half.
Notified that it had been found guilty of demoliton by neglect, Greenfire submitted a schedule for making repairs by the end of October.