Engineers trying to determine fate of Cheeburger Cheeburger buil - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Engineers trying to determine fate of Cheeburger Cheeburger building

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

Chattanooga city leaders met Friday morning with the owner of 138 Market Street to try to figure out what to do with the partially collapsed building.

The building is home to Cheeburger Cheeburger and it came crashing down on Wednesday afternoon. No one was hurt.

The property owner is George Walls and city leaders say he has two choices: he can try to save part of the building or demolish the entire structure.

Chattanooga Fire Marshal William Matlock told Channel 3 the building’s future hinges on an engineering judgment.

Walls hired a private company to take a closer look at the property and they’re hoping to have that information by this weekend. Matlock says demolition could begin as early as next week.

READ MORE | UPDATE: Market Street partially reopened after Cheeburger Cheeburger restaurant collapse

Gates and cages are now blocking off the property. City officials believe it is structurally sound but they don’t want to take any chances and want a decision made quickly.

“With the location being downtown, we have a high traffic area with pedestrians and high traffic in vehicles. Obviously, we want to do something. We want to open the road back up as soon as possible," said Matlock. 

Channel 3 has learned city inspectors visited the property last Friday. They discovered structural problems and issued a 15-day correction notice but the building didn’t last long.

READ MORE | City inspector visited Cheeburger Cheeburger building before collapse

The building is one of the oldest structures in downtown Chattanooga. It was built in 1876 and became a flour mill.

According to property records, Walls bought the building in 1972 and paid $50,000. 

He turned it into a car dealership and auto showroom.

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