SIOUX CITY | Sioux City could take legal action against the owner of the former Bolstein Apartments if it does not pay liens from city demolition and land grading costs, officials said.
Jeff Hanson, the city’s community development operations manager, said the city of Sioux City would have grounds to sue Neia Group, LLC, if the Sioux City-based developer fails to pay the city.
“All the demolition assessments will be put on the property, and it will remain private property,” Hanson said. “If we’re not successful with retrieving the funds we’ve expended to demo the property, then we’ll seek legal action from the private property owner to get those funds back.”
Sioux City has successfully won cases against property owners who failed to pay property liens, Hanson said. Neia Group would need to pay the liens before it could sell the property with a clean title.
Hanson said Neia Group had not contacted the city as to whether it would redevelop the property. Neia Group still owns the land.
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The former Bolstein building, at 1624 Jackson St., was built as apartments for middle-class families in 1919. The city deemed the property unsafe to inhabit in July 2013, and it was red-tagged in 2014.
The building, which caught fire twice in 2014, was demolished earlier this month.
“As in most cases, the property owner did not do the demo voluntarily,” Hanson said. “The city went in and took care of it.”
Hanson said some property owners will ignore city bills because demolition costs often can be greater than the value of buildings. Those costs also include asbestos removal.
In 2012, Neia Group purchased the Bolstein Apartments for $50,000, according to Woodbury County records. Hanson said the property is now has an assessed value of $10,000.
A representative with Neia Group could not be reached for comment late Thursday.