WATERTOWN — The city has started legal action against the owner of a West Main Street property that it claims “is in imminent danger of further collapse.”

The city filed state Supreme Court action Tuesday at the Jefferson County clerk’s office against Glen Park Properties LLC, whose principal is Watertown businessman Jacob S. Johnson, asking that 403 W. Main St. either be rehabilitated or demolished.

Mr. Johnson declined comment on the matter Wednesday.

According to court documents, the city’s Bureau of Code Enforcement received a complaint about the condition of the three-story structure and a code enforcement officer who inspected the property condemned it for occupancy on May 19. The inspection showed that the rear portion of the structure “has deteriorated to the extent it has become detached from the rest of the structure and it has collapsed and continues to collapse into the court.”

The city’s complaint states that after being notified of the deficiencies in late May, Mr. Johnson installed a fence around the building, but has taken no further action to fix the problems.

The city is asking that a judge order Mr. Johnson to either repair or demolish the building. In the alternative, it is asking that the city be awarded the full cost of having the city demolish the structure. If the city does the work, a $3,000 demolition administrative fee would be added to the cost of the demolition work, according to the city’s complaint.

An adjacent building owned by Glen Park Properties at 409 W. Main St. has not been condemned and is not part of the city’s legal action. 403 W. Main St. most recently housed Basket World, while 409 W. Main St. was most recently home to Colonial Woodshed, although both buildings have been vacant in recent years. Mr. Johnson, through his company JSJ NNY LLC, acquired the properties in May 2018. Ownership of the properties was transferred April 19 to Glen Park Properties.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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