Two Northland town homes demolished after ground gives way

11/16/2013 12:46 AM

11/16/2013 12:46 AM

Crews began demolishing two duplexes in the Northland on Friday after the ground around the buildings gave way.

Kansas City dangerous buildings officials issued an emergency demolition permit for the structures in the 7000 block of North Bedford Avenue, said city spokesman Chris Hernandez.

The duplexes were built in 2011 atop a steep slope that tapers off quickly, Hernandez said. All the inspections and professional engineering studies required by the city were done before the buildings were constructed, and it was determined to be a safe place to build, he said.

But the development’s owner, Falcon Falls LLC, noticed the ground moving this week and requested a demolition permit. City officials investigated on Tuesday and agreed the buildings needed to come down as soon as possible, Hernandez said. The foundations were moving and even the back decks were falling off the houses.

Falcon Falls officials could not be reached for comment.

Carl Spahn, a construction code inspection supervisor for the city, visited the site Friday and described the situation as a “slope failure.” But the reasons behind the failure have not yet been determined, Hernandez said.

The duplexes were vacant when the problem was discovered, he said, but a family living in an adjacent duplex moved as a precaution.