Prospect of Mission Bowl demolition gets push back from insurance company attorney

Mike Baumberger, an attorney representing National Catastrophe Restoration Inc., addresses the city council during a public hearing on the Mission Bowl demolition. Baumberger spoke against demolishing Mission Bowl due to concerns a demolition would go against NCRI’s claims that the building was improved following NCRI repairs.

Mission’s city council adopted a resolution that directs city staff to collect “findings of fact” on the condemnation of Mission Bowl, 5399 Martway Street, during a public hearing Wednesday evening. This resolution comes after the building has sat vacant for four years following a fire in April 2015.

Jim Brown, the city’s building official, presented his findings from an inspection conducted by himself and the fire marshal on July 8, 2019, which deemed Mission Bowl a dangerous structure. Brown said guidelines for this particular inspection came from the 2012 International Property Maintenance Code.

Mission Bowl’s condition has become of concern to city officials.

Some factors that contributed to it being deemed a dangerous structure include poor front wall support and roof structure, a leaky roof, disconnected utilities, and the lack of an operating mechanical, fire or plumbing system, Brown said. In addition, the structure has also been deemed an attractive nuisance. On the day of the inspection, Brown said the fire marshal found the front door unlocked.

“The building remains, for the most part, in the same condition it was after the fire event,” Brown said. “It hasn’t improved in any way, and it will continue to deteriorate due to weather events and other extremities.”

An attorney for National Catastrophe Restoration Inc., Mike Baumberger, provided a public comment to the city council about an approximate $900,000 tax lien his client has on the property. He said NCRI was contacted the same day of the fire to provide remediation and restoration services, and NCRI completed considerable work within the first couple of months following the fire.

Baumberger spoke against the demolition of the site due to the concern of potential asbestos removal and a large pit being left behind in the parking lot. He said he and his client are concerned that findings will hurt their case, specifically whether or not NCRI improved the property.

A resident also spoke against the demolition of Mission Bowl, and said that the demolition of Mission Bowl sounds like it would be too expensive. Additionally, he said there are alternative approaches to securing the property before a potential rehabilitation and sale of Mission Bowl.

City council did not determine themselves whether or not the building is a dangerous structure during the meeting. City staff will present their “findings of fact” as a formal resolution during the Nov. 18 council meeting, which the city council will choose whether or not to adopt.