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Code enforcement recommends city demolish Drewry's Brewery

SOUTH BEND, Ind. --- The future of what neighbors call quite an eyesore as visitors enter the city’s north west side was the main discussion at Thursday’s code enforcement hearing.

Concerned neighbors and council members listened in as the code enforcement director made his recommendation to demolish the Drewry’s Brewery on Elwood Avenue.

Randy Wilkerson, the city’s code enforcement director, said the city is working hard to get the owner of the building to the table. Steven Durkee, the current owner, was not present at the meeting.

One neighbor, who said she’s been waiting for something to be done about the building for 10 years, was at the meeting.

“It’s even more of a nuisance,” said Becky Kaiser.

And a spokesperson for District 1 councilmember Tim Scott was also present to read a statement from Scott.

“We’ve had enough of this blight on our neighborhood,” he said.

A code enforcement officer read his current report of the building, stating that the building has not been touched since 2012. And it is currently inhabited.

“It bothers me that people are in this building we need to do something about that as well,” Wilkerson said.

The demolition would cost the city $120,000 to demolish the buildings that are still standing.

“I don’t know how many hearings 7 or 8 this many hearings with the property only becoming more dangerous I do find willful neglect of the city’s order,” said Michelle Engel, City of South Bend hearing officer.

The city is also adding on $15,000 in fines to Durkee for neglect and causing blight to the area the building’s in.

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