UPDATE: Demolition for Cheeburger Cheeburger is underway - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

UPDATE: Demolition for Cheeburger Cheeburger is underway

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Photo by Brooks Carter Photo by Brooks Carter
CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -

UPDATE: Demolition for a popular downtown restaurant Cheeburger Cheeburger has started. 

City Council voted to front the money for the demolition at a meeting Tuesday night, with the provision that the owner of the building re-pay the city for the expenses.

Channel 3 has a crew on scene of the demolition. 


PREVIOUS STORY:  The City Council voted Tuesday night to front the money to cover the demolition of the building that was the home of Cheeburger Cheeburger in downtown Chattanooga.

The council approved an emergency purchase of $120,000 to demolish the partially-collapsed building at 138 Market Street.

Councilman Erskine Oglesby tells Channel 3, the council approved the funding on the condition of the building owner paying back the city.

Monday, Judge L. Marie Williams threw out the temporary restraining order that prevented the demolition and said the building was "dangerous to human life or public welfare and is in violation of the Chattanooga City Code."

No date was given for the demolition.

Stay with WRCBtv.com for updates to this story.


PREVIOUS STORY: A judge has dissolved the temporary restraining order that prevented the demolition of the partially collapsed building that once housed Cheeburger Cheeburger on Market Street.

Judge L. Marie Williams deemed the structure to be "dangerous to human life or public welfare and is in violation of the Chattanooga City Code."

The demolition has not yet been scheduled, but the judge ordered that the work be performed by a City contractor or a contractor paid by the building's owner.


PREVIOUS STORY: The demolition of the partially collapsed Cheeburger Cheeburger in downtown Chattanooga, which was scheduled for Friday, has been delayed.

A legal dispute between the restaurant and the building owner with the demolition team has temporarily halted the expected work that would take the building down. The case is apparently headed to a courtroom, but the timeframe for a hearing is not yet known.

The front half of the restaurant collapsed March 29, spilling into the sidewalk along Market Street. The building was unoccupied that the time.

 
Amy Petulla owns Chattanooga Ghost Tours, her business has been housed here for four years, but that's about to change.

Soon, a contractor will demolish the entire building.

"Oldest standing, well it was standing, commercial building here in Chattanooga. I hate to see it go," said Petulla. 

But it is not going anywhere anytime soon. Demolition is on standby while a legal battle brews between the restaurant owner and landlord. 

"For it to be a delay, it is going to be longer for the owners for all of them to get back on their feet, and get their businesses going," said Graci Burnette.

Graci Burnette is the Assistant Manager at Pucketts. A restaurant across the street. She says the bricks, caution tape, and rubble is an eye sore, but business is on per usual.

"Makes for an interesting story. Easy table talk," said Burnette.

The same goes for the ghost tours. clients are meeting elsewhere to tour the scary sights of the city. 

"Meet our guest at the downtown side of the Walnut Street Bridge instead of here. Sending out emails and contacting people who made reservations about the change of place," said Petulla. 

The city's attorney's office has filed a motion to make a judge rule on a date for the demolition. But until then its a waiting game for all those involved. 


PREVIOUS STORY: Cheeburger Cheeburger will be torn down after it collapsed about a week ago. 

Marissa Bell, a spokesperson for the city tells Channel 3 demolition is expected to take place Friday, April 7. She said building contractor, T. Gene Edwards, who was hired by the Cheeburger Cheeburger owner, will lead the demolition.

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

Bell said she was notified today that the owners "pulled a permit" to move toward demolition, though the timing is unknown. The permit is issued by the Building Inspection Department.

EPB was on site Thursday isolating a circuit, to ensure power is preserved for other surrounding businesses. 

The restaurant has been located on Market St. downtown since 1998. The historic building that housed the business was built in 1876 as a flour mill. 

Bell said its historic ties will not interfere with the demolition. 

As far as the structure's condition, Bell said the fire marshal ensured the building is secure as of now, and the public's safety is not at risk. 

The building owner, George Walls, Jr., filed a lawsuit against the Cheeburger Cheeburger owners, and is seeking $1-million. 

In the lawsuit, Walls said he gave the owners a 30-day notice on March 10, 2016 to fix a broken plate glass and the front exterior wall that was already crumbling. It further states the owners received a correction notice from the City of Chattanooga on March 14, 2016. On March 21, 2016, the suit states the owners sent a letter to Walls placing the responsibility to make repairs on him. According to Walls, that was not what was agreed to when the lease was signed. 

Channel 3 spoke to Walls Thursday, and he said he couldn't comment at the time, referring us to the lawsuit. 

The Cheeburger Cheeburger owners have not responded to the suit. However, when the building collapsed last week, they did say they plan on fighting this in court.

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