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Uniland plans emergency demolition at Elmwood-Hertel

Uniland Development Co. will demolish a condemned building on Elmwood Avenue near Hertel early Tuesday, after obtaining an emergency permit to take down the structure that had been ravaged by fire.

The old Dow Building at 1820 Elmwood — formerly a one-story brick and steel industrial structure on two acres — has been vacant since the former owners, the Deni family, removed the portion that sustained damage in a fire in April 2015.

The building was part of a group of properties comprising nine acres stretching north to 1934 Elmwood that Uniland bought from the Denis in October for $5 million.

It's part of purchase of 20 acres of commercial real estate at the Elmwood-Hertel intersection, where the developer and Blue Cardinal Capital are planning a concept that will include retail, office, industrial and residential spaces.

Uniland said it needed to demolish the building to make secure the area in preparation for redevelopment.

Company spokeswoman Jill Pawlik noted that the building contained asbestos and other hazards and couldn't be reused.

Remediation and excavation experts from Empire Building Diagnostics will monitor the demolition Tuesday.

"It's structurally unsound, and I know a lot of people in that neighborhood have complained about it as an eyesore for a couple of years, so it was important for Uniland to take it down as quickly as possible," Pawlik said. "We really think it's in the best interests of the neighborhood and our development plans to remove it, clean up the site, and have the site look clean, and then we can move forward with refining the concept."

“We are securing the site to make it safer and cleaner for the neighborhood,” said Michael Montante, Uniland vice president. “This is just the first step of many as we refine our concept of bringing this corner back to life.”

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