by Gabe Bullard
The fate of the so-called Iron Quarter buildings at First and Main streets will soon rest in the hands of the Waterfront Development Corporation; an emergency request to demolish the buildings has been rejected by Metro Government.
Since purchasing the historic buildings in 2007, Developer Todd Blue of Cobalt Ventures has planned to preserve the facades of the buildings, but replace the rest of the structures.
The project is still on hold, but last week, Cobalt filed an emergency request to demolish the buildings, citing an engineer’s report that said the strip was too fragile to safely preserve.
The city disagreed and rejected the request, but Cobalt attorney Graham Cohen says the buildings are not safe.
“The only thing we know is what the engineer has told us and that is they are in serious jeopardy of collapse due to the structural decomposition.”
Because of the buildings’ location, the new request for demolition must be approved by the Waterfront Development Corporation. Cohen says Blue still plans to preserve the buildings’ facades.