Downtown building set for demolition

By Stefanie Donahue

The city of Blaine has issued an order to demolish the former Costa Azul restaurant building on Peace Portal Drive after finding it in decay, pest-ridden and structurally unsound.

665 Peace Portal

Located at 665 Peace Portal Drive, the building stands next to Blaine Bouquets. For the past several months, city staff have been working with Seattle-based property owner Guenter Mannhalt to address
their concerns.

According to the city’s May 8 statement, long-standing damage resulting from a fire in the late ’60s, and decades of decay have compromised the structural integrity of the building, posing a risk of collapse. Based on reports from three engineering firms, the building is also riddled with mold, decay and pests, which qualify it as a nuisance under city code.

Leading up to the demolition, city staff intend to evaluate the condition of nearby buildings, particularly neighboring Blaine Bouquets, in order to protect it during demolition.

According to the demolition notice issued on May 5, Mannhalt or his agent must submit a demolition permit application by June 4. Demolition work must commence within 60 days of permit approval and the demolition must be completed within 90 days of permit approval.

“Our code enforcement officer has been working carefully and diligently to have many properties in the city cleaned up or restored,” said Blaine community development director Michael Jones. “This building has been the most complicated and challenging. It’s been a difficult process and we’re unhappy that the order is causing expense for Blaine Bouquets, but we simply have to do something about the Costa Azul site. It has been a blight on downtown for years. Clearly, it’s not going away unless we take action.”

Over the last year, the city has resolved 107 municipal code violations that range from overgrown vegetation to the repair of hazardous structures.

In 2016, 10 derelict structures were demolished and one in 2017. Four structures have been ordered demolished or removed leading up to this summer, including the Rocky Mountain Trading Building, located on Peace Portal Drive; it’s scheduled for demolition within the next several weeks.

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