West Bend building owner plans to fight raze order

By DAVE RANK - Daily News 

July 8, 2014

WEST BEND - The owner of a northside industrial site that West Bend officials claim is “unsafe and dangerous” said Monday he will fight the city’s efforts to tear down his building.

John Bagley, owner of JHB Design and Construct LLC, said he is renovating the building at 2100 Northwestern Ave. and will raze the portion of the structure that is no longer usable. A portion of the 97,000-square-foot building is 87 years old.

He said his remodeling plan has been approved by the state Department of Natural Resources and he plans to continue working on the structure.

“The building has been improved,” he said.

West Bend officials announced Thursday the city started legal action to close down the site, stating, “The property remains a substantial risk to public safety including a recent fire that went unreported for 24 hours, numerous calls for police intervention, building inspection violations, unsafe conditions for anyone on the premises and a building that has been stripped of any remaining assets.”

“The city has been trying to claim that property for over 20 years,” Bagley said.

City Administrator T.J. Justice said West Bend has tried to work with Bagley to redevelop the property but that he “has failed to make substantial progress.”