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Durham orders developer to repair condemned warehouse

Posted February 16, 2012

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— Nine months after the roof of a landmark warehouse near downtown Durham collapsed, city officials on Wednesday ordered the owner to repair the building.

Heavy rains on May 14 caused part of the 2.4-acre roof on the Liberty Warehouse, on Riggsbee Avenue, to cave in. City inspectors condemned the building two days later, forcing tenants to scramble to find new space.

The owners promised to fix the roof and related problems within a reasonable time, but officials have deemed the building "in a condition of neglect."

The city has given the owner until Oct. 15 to repair the building or face daily $500 fines.

Liberty Warehouse dates to 1938 and once served as a tobacco auction house. In recent years, the historic landmark has been used as studio, warehouse and retail space for numerous businesses and nonprofit groups.

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