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Thursday, January 19, 2012

5 weeks after fire, North Avenue still shut, merchants in dark

December 17, 2011, fire gutted North Avenue Historic District building.
Friday marks the end of five weeks since a suspicious fire gutted a commercial building in Plainfield's North Avenue Historic District.

Though some damaged brickwork at the northeast rear corner of the building was knocked down on Tuesday, no other activity has been spotted and North Avenue remained blocked off as of 5:00 AM today when I went out for the papers.

Plainfield taxpayers have been footing the bill for 24/7 police surveillance of the area since the fire -- at OVERTIME rates.

Merchants, who are still in the dark about the City's plans -- or even if there are any plans -- are becoming increasingly restive as their businesses continue to suffer from precipitous declines in patronage.

Contrast the treatment of the North Avenue merchants with the city's solicitousness of South Avenue merchants regarding the South Avenue reconstruction project (see letter to businesses here, PDF).

What will the North Avenue merchants have to do to get the same level of service, sue the city?

-- Dan Damon [follow]

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Oscar said...

Hello Dan, you are wright!! This is a shame!!. Which authority do you think is willing to step up in favor of the affected merchants of North Ave. The answer is simple "NONE". What do we need to do?? we already asked...but the only answer given to us was "just wait"....Dan this is the 5th week after the fire...., something has to be done!!

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately, many merchants believe one another and run to City Hall for answers. City Hall was moving things along initially and then it was stated that there was an owner of the building located in California which put a representative in his place who claims that things are going smoothly according to his plan meanwhile things have been moving very slow. A fly by night company appears to have been hired to the demolitian and they appear to have stopped all work now. There are several businesses directly affected and have been closed since the fire but without them taking the initiative to sue it is extremely difficult. No one will disclose the owners identitiy and City Hall appears not to have any interest in pressuring him. So we all sit and wait. It is a very sad situation but appears to be a situation where other people are benefiting from what has happened. May be you can help the merchants that are closed that continue to go in circles and point them in the direction of a good lawyer!!!!!