RACINE — The demolition of a blighted building at 1516 Washington Ave. appears to still be costing the city money five months after the building was razed.

The city recently sent a purchase order to a Tiger Restoration for tuck-pointing and minor carpentry work to fix a gap at 1512 Washington Ave., the building that sat next to the now demolished structure.

“We exposed some gaps in the ... building when the other building was taken down,” Public Works Commissioner Mark Yehlen said. “There is this one spot that has a gap in the bricks that we need to make weather-tight.”

That work, which had not been done as of Friday, comes two months after the city ended up paying for change orders on the demolition job — change orders that ended up putting the cost for the project at twice the original contract amount.

Approved by the City Council on April 3, the change orders — one for $3,750 and another for $22,394 — brought the total amount paid to contractor Azarian Wrecking to $52,350, and was the source of weeks of debate among aldermen, city staff and feuding contractors over the bidding and oversight of the project.

One contractor, Dan Macemon, who bid on the job but was not chosen, said Azarian failed to adhere to the bid specifications for the job. City staff contended Macemon’s concerns were misguided and argued he “read too far into” the specifications, ultimately misinterpreting them.

Macemon contended his bid for the job, $53,233, was about twice Azarian’s original bid of $26,209 because he correctly interpreted bid specifications that he says spell out that the contractor was responsible for protecting and sealing neighboring structures. After the City Council approved the change orders, Macemon filed a complaint with the city’s Board of Ethics, but the board ultimately dismissed the complaint.

The $3,750 change order was requested to pay for work needed to close window and doorway openings at 1512 Washington Ave. The $22,394 change order was requested to pay for roofing work and masonry repair to the parapet and front wall of that building.

There was no change order for the tuck-pointing work because it will be done by a contractor other than Azarian, Yehlen said.

He added the new work is not necessary because of a mistake by Azarian.

Mayor John Dickert ordered that the building at 1516 Washington Ave. be taken down in November after staff became concerned the structure’s crumbling facade might fall off and hurt someone. The money for the demolition came from the Building Department’s budget, but Dickert said in April that the city planned to bill the building’s owner for the work.

At the time 1516 Washington Ave. was demolished, the building and land were owned by Colorado-based companies HPG Management and PHG Management.

Who will end up getting billed for the new $1,650 job remains to be discovered, especially since the title to 1516 Washington Ave. recently changed hands.

According Chief Building Inspector Ken Plaski, the building was sold to Racine resident Eric Love sometime last month.

Attempts to reach Love Friday were unsuccessful.

(12) comments


This kind of behavior would never fly in the private sector. If you underbid a job then you end up paying for it: period.


We all complain about our incompetent mayor how about cousin Tom our administrator running the cities multimillions with only a high school education, I guess that even qualifies myself and I wouldn't even know where to start doing it.

Green Racinereal

Detroit should be our wake up call. Sadly Our Mayor and Council wants to spend more and hope for a different outcome.
I just hope they are successful in gentrifying West 6 St so my property value goes up and my wife can sell this place and bug the heck out.


Who got the bill for the initial demo work? If it is like sidewalk repair then the City may not have sent it yet. Will the new owner pay the bill or look for a good lawyer? There is a person with that name in Waukesha that is associated with a law firm. Will the new owner donate the vacant hole to the City? Will the City foreclose if bills are not paid? Will the facade of adjacent buildings deteriorate as suggested by the demo contractor? Will future adjacent building foundation problems develop? This project could continue to generate news stories for years to come, Macemon count your blessings that you lost this bid; the City owes you one!.


There are too many properties in arrears for the County to foreclose on - they don't have the budget to deal with them. It's only going to get worse for 2014. There is an economic earthquake coming to Racine - that will lead the city to default and Jim Ladwig doesn't know what to do.

Kate Remington
Kate Remington

that's a beautiful curve of building into a spoon... The city's bidding process broke down and local people got hurt financially by the City's refusal to acknowledge responsibility to anyone for its failure to follow its own requirements. I read Macemon's complaint. He does not blame Azarian. He is blaming the City. Mr. Macemon is not blaming the next door building owner in Uptown either. All this arguing for this Uptown owner is costing them too. The Ethics Commission has too many direct ties to the current administration. The current administration needs to listen to its own residents and stop treating us as enemies.


Racine is a dying city. Best if it was sold to Kenosha or Milwaukee before its to late.


You all are idiots below me. None of you know a thing about the city of Racine. Kevin's mom loose some weight and then post a comment you lard. the rest of you snakes should move to illinois. The Azarians have been doing good deeds in this city for over 50 years and anyone who says different is a liar. One mistake and now there crooks ?? All of you go jump in the lake. Except Kevin's mom she might not fit.


This is no surprise. Racine is being run by an incompetent group that has created a situation which will lead Racine to default - like Detroit.

If you haven't yet ESCAPED Racine - either you are asleep, a member of a group that benefits from taxation, OR found that your house value is around $0 and unmarketable.

I'm gone and done - you are stuck with the raw truth and dishonest John. There will be no digging Racine out of the debt he stuck the City with while he...... ??????

The FOOLS of Racine and their money are parted daily!

Green Racinereal

Is this all a game so the City can get Azarian's Marina for Back Taxes without a fight?
Will the Condos coming to Mount St have Marble Islands?
What old map might give claims of ownership to areas thought to be public land?


sucks when the only people you can complain to are the crooks that are the problem.

what happened here is so obvious, and they are trying to sweep it under the rug.

dont use azarian construction unless you want your bill 2x the quote apparently!


The Racine City Council continues to cost the city money because of their lack of knowledge in areas that they continue want to micro manage. The good mayor is no better. I am sure we will hear more complaints about this matter and others, yet when it comes time to vote the same people appear on the ballot. Until Racine gets some quality people to sit the council, the city will have to maintain deep pockets. Sorry, they already have deep pockets. That's where they keep their guns and the keys to the high end restrooms.

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