The City of Nelson has decided to sell two houses it owns at 710 and 712 Railway St. in the Railtown district.
The city purchased them in 2014 before the development in 2016 of the Railtown Sustainable Neighbourhood Action Plan in order to avoid the properties being developed in a way that might not conform to the plan.
The houses are in a part of Railtown that is slated in the Railtown plan for multi-family residential.
At city council’s April 13 meeting, the city’s facilities manager Peter Sinstadt presented a report on the history of the buildings.
In 2012 and 2016, the city made some moves toward contracting out the demolition of the uninhabited houses, but abandoned these plans after the discovery of slope stability issues including potentially dangerous tree removal as well as hazardous conditions within the buildings including asbestos and lead, all requiring expensive monitoring and remediation.
It was decided that moving the buildings was not feasible for the city because of the hazardous materials and because they are structurally unsound and would not survive a relocation.
“The buildings have had multiple additions tacked on over the years, which would complicate the relocation,” Sinstadt’s report states, adding that “the cost of relocation would drastically exceed any future value of the building.”
Under the conditions of a sale, the buyer will be responsible for demolition and the slope stability concerns.