MOORESVILLE, IN – More than two years after a powerful tornado damaged several structures in and around the downtown area, residents and local business owners are wondering about the future of one building that remains badly damaged.
“We’re hoping that they can do something soon,” said Stephanie Myrick, co-owner of Bud and Bloom Florist. “It’d be nice if it was taken care of and downtown could get back to normal.”
An EF1 tornado struck the downtown Mooresville area on the night of April 8, 2020. Two years later, most of the downtown area has recovered.
However, a two-story building at the corner of Main and Indiana Streets looks unchanged since the night of the storm. More than two years after the storm, the building is partially collapsed with most of its roof and two sidewalls missing.
“Part of the shame is that it almost feels normal now,” said Julie Warbenburg, owner of Silver Owl Therapeutic Massage. “I look out there and I don’t expect to see anything else.”
“I hear from constituents all the time,” said Mooresville Town Council member Shane Williams. “They’re very frustrated that it’s such an eyesore in the downtown.”
According to town officials and records, the building’s current owner, Finmar Properties LLC, purchased the building in November 2020 with initial plans to repair and renovate the structure. In December 2021, Finmar obtained a demolition permit from the town and hired LaFary Group to tear it down.
“The town’s issued permits along the way, done what we can,” Williams said. “I know our department heads have worked with them. And we’re just trying to get the building down.”
However, officials said the two companies have failed to come to terms on the demolition. A scheduled demolition for the building in February 2022 did not happen.
Now, the town is taking steps to enforce its Unsafe Building ordinance. In early March, the Mooresville Town Council voted to move forward with enforcing the ordinance. An order issued by the town is giving Finmar until the end of April to have the building torn down. If that doesn’t happen, the town will begin the process of taking over demolition. If that happens, the cost of tearing down the building will be billed as a lien against the property.
“I think there’s been a lot of patience, but it’s time to get a move-on and I understand that the public’s frustrated,” Williams said. “Just know that the town is moving as fast as it can at this point.”
While change at the corner of Main and Indiana appears imminent, the future of the building remains unclear beyond demolition, which could take place in the next two-to-three months.
Representatives for Finmar Properties and LaFary Group declined to comment when reached by phone today.