Ipswich - Building Inspector Jim Sperber has declared the Ipswich News building on Market Street unsafe and has ordered it to be demolished. But, that does not necessarily mean the building will come down right away.
Last week, Sperber notified the owners of the building, Barbara Allen and her son John, that they needed to either start the permitting process for a demolition or, at the very least, remove the top floor and make sure the building is secure.
The Allens had the right file an appeal in Superior Court within three business days of Sperber's decision, which was made on Feb. 11. John Allen would not comment on whether they would take that action, however. He said simply that he was very upset about the situation and that his whole goal since the 2007 fire was to preserve the building and get his business up and running again.
If the Allens do not comply with the order and do not appeal it, the town has the right to have the demolish carried out anyway. As of the Chronicle's press time, the Allens had not notified Sperber of their intentions.
Finances may dictate what happens next and when. It will likely cost upwards of $10,000 to demolish the building, but, Sperber says, "Everybody's in a money bind."
Sperber declared the building unsafe after the Ross family tore down their part of the property, which shared a wall, chimney and staircase with the portion owned by the Allens. More of the inside of the building is exposed to the elements now and there is also an increased possibility of debris falling to the ground. However, the site is fenced off.