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Simao to tear down warehouse

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An old warehouse with a collapsed roof at 160 Main Ave. soon will be demolished.

Owner P.J. Simao said it should take about three weeks to tear down the eyesore that has vexed the city.

Workers from Independent Commercial Contractors, Lorraine, are working on asbestos abatement at the building before they start the actual demolition.

Mr. Simao still needs to obtain a demolition permit before that work can start, city Code Enforcement Supervisor Shawn R. McWayne said.

Until now, the city of Watertown had sought state Supreme Court action to compel him to pay for the demolition or repair of the two-story brick building.

For the past three years, the code enforcement office considered it a safety hazard because the roof had collapsed. The city’s warehouse complaint was filed against Mr. Simao’s firm, Lobut Development LLC, in May 2010.

The city also listed a handful of other problems with the building’s condition, including broken windows and an unsecured entry.

“It wasn’t worth going to court about it,” Mr. Simao said. “It’s in my best interest to tear it down.”

Complicating the issue, the deteriorating building had a common wall to the adjacent building at 144 Main Ave., which Mr. Simao bought earlier this year.

He has contended that the common wall would have been damaged if the city tore the building down and then should pay to rebuild it.

He now will clean up the adjacent structure — the former Coughlin Printing Group building — and market it for a tenant, he said.

In recent weeks, the property around the two buildings also has been cleaned up of overgrown brush and trees.

The 6,720-square-foot warehouse was built in 1950 and has had four owners during its lifetime, according to city property records.

Mr. Simao bought the building in 2008 for $10,000 from Richard Warner.

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