BAR HARBOR — The vacant commercial property at 79 Cottage Street that some town residents feared was unsafe was demolished Monday morning.
The two-story building was owned by the Pelletier family, doing business as St. Sauveur Development Corp. The Pelletiers received a demolition permit with the planning office, said Code Enforcement Officer Angie Chamberlain, and to date have not applied to construct anything new on the site.
The building has been listed for sale for several years, with the vacant lot next door, for a combined price of $995,000 as a commercial property.
The building on that lot was taken down in December of 2013, after the roof partially collapsed under heavy snow.
A 1972 Chevelle convertible was removed from the building before the demolition of that building, which had last been used as an auto garage.
It has been assumed that the property would be worth more with the abandoned building on it still standing. That’s because the building was closer to the sidewalk than current rules allow. If a new building is built on the site within one year, it will be exempt from current Land Use Ordinance requirements to be set back 20 feet from the sidewalk.
The 1910 wood shingle building had an appraised value of $142,300, according to tax records. The downtown lot it sat on is appraised at $340,000.
The state of the vacant building was brought to the Town Council’s attention last fall.
Five concerned Bar Harbor residents, who also serve on the design review board, signed a letter to the council asking them to hold a public hearing regarding the building they described as “dangerous.”
Following a public hearing, the council voted to require inspections of the building, first by the Code Enforcement Officer and Fire Chief, then by an engineer. The structural inspection by the engineer was to be paid for by the owners, who instead opted to take the building down.