Local News

Developer promises to repair condemned Durham warehouse

Posted June 15, 2011 11:17 a.m. EDT

— The owner of a landmark warehouse near downtown Durham that was condemned last month after part of its roof collapsed has agreed to correct the problem, city officials said Wednesday.

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.

Owner Durham Liberty LLC has told city officials that it plans to fix the roof and related problems within a reasonable timeframe, officials said.

The Durham City/County Planning Department had set a public hearing for Thursday evening and was moving ahead with plans for a "demolition by neglect" investigation of the property. The hearing is now canceled and the investigation suspended to give the owner time to make repairs, officials said.

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.