Derby Main Street Building Declared Unsafe

Derby officials are keeping a nervous eye on a vacant building across from City Hall after chunks of stucco started falling off the building Wednesday night and its chimney began to lean toward Main Street.

A city engineer declared the building unsafe. The building owner was scheduled to have his engineer inspect the apartment house Thursday.

No one lives there, city officials said.

Mayor Rich Dziekan and his chief of staff Andrew Baklik said they think the building will probably have to come down, given the way it looks from the street. Dziekan noted the building, which is at the corner of Minerva and Main Street (Route 34), appears to be bowing on the Main Street side. The fear is that it’ll fall down onto Main Street.

Barricades were put up to keep the public off the side walk on the Main Street side, where there is a public bus stop.

The city’s corporation counsel is also looking into the matter.

“We should know more by the end of the day,” Baklik said Thursday morning.

Orange stickers from the city were put on the building’s window reading “THIS BUILDING IS UNSAFE AND ITS USE OR OCCUPANCY HAS BEEN PROHIBITED BY THE BUILDING OFFICIAL.”

Carlo Sarmiento is the building official.

He said Thursday morning he could not describe the building’s safety issues until he receives reports from the city’s engineer and the building owner’s engineer.

“I want to get the report,” Sarmiento said, “and I will be more than happy to share the reports with, coming from the engineers rather than me misquoting what the engineers might put in the report.”

Update: at a public meeting Thursday evening, Sarmiento said the chimney within the building had collapsed, causing major damage to the second-and-third floors. He noted that the leaning chimney top visible from the street is pretty much all that is left of the chimney.

Fire Marshal Phil Hawks said the building has been vacant since Aug. 2015. Public records list the owner as Derby Shores, LLC.