Demolition set for downtown properties
This story has been updated from its original version.
Demolition in the 38900 block of Pioneer Boulevard to remove multiple pre-World War II-era residences from downtown Sandy is scheduled to take place later this week.
Konell Construction was supposed to begin clearing the space last Friday, but was stalled by the required removal of some utility lines.
In it's heyday, the white house on the property housed the Hoffman Meat Market, which was originally opened by Ludwig Hoffman in 1909. The space has sat vacant since its short stint as a convenience store in 2012.
All of the houses on the property are said to be beyond repair.
Economic Development Manager David Snider said the buildings contained asbestos and lead paint, which has since been removed, but even with that gone, it would cost too much to update the structures.
"To rehabilitate them would be extremely expensive because of their age and condition," Snider said. "And because of zoning, you couldn't put houses there. Any development would have be commercial, though you can put residential (in the) second floor and above."
The new owner of the properties, Mark Connelly of Happy Valley, has expressed interest in developing the space into a commercial property.
""We're looking to do a commercial and residential development with a storefront," Connelly says. "We're still in the very early stages of it. We'd like to see what the city of Sandy wants to do with the property."
In support of this venture, the city has allocated urban renewal funds to the project, amounting to 50 percent of the total costs of demolition. Snider estimates the project will cost $45,000 overall by completion.
He adds that the city of Sandy has a "vested interest in having (the buildings) come down sooner rather than later."
"It gets rid of an eyesore and a police contact generator and helps incentivize commercial development," Snider said. "That was the interest of the city. We have a severe shortage of retail space in Sandy."
Ann Marie Amstad of the Sandy Historical Society has come to terms with the removal of the historical buildings.
"We don't like to see historic buildings go, but that is how it is," she explains.
The historical society has, however, requested some pieces of the structures be preserved.
"We have asked Konell Construction if we could have some door knobs and pieces of the molding," Amstad says. "Something to show the era, that shows how things were constructed in those eras, because they are historic buildings in Sandy."
When asked, Konell agreed to let the society retrieve some artifacts from the space so they can be added to the museum's collection.
At this time, Connelly and the city are uncertain as to what exactly will be built in the soon-to-be empty lots.
"I'm open to all sorts of suggestions," the owner says, and he adds that the option of selling to let someone else develop the site is not off the table.
He hopes either way that the space will be turned into "something really nice and positive."