On Tuesday, Friend of Unfair Park PeterK sent me an e-mail with the subject header: "European Crossroads demolished." He included a link to friend of the show Scott Dorn's Flickr set, where Scott had written that "the small shopping community was demolished for new development In Janaury 2011."
And so, on my way home Tuesday night, I drove by the place to see for myself -- only to discover that, no, it still stands. Barely. JR's Demolition, which has gated the property and been charged with razing the development, has parked the 'dozers. But it's a temporary reprieve. (Update on Friday: A property manager says the demolition should be completed with the next 11 days.)
Tami Lindamood at JR's told me that the razing's back on track as of this very morning; "demolition," she said, "could occur very soon," and she promised to call back later today with the precise when. (It won't be immediate, she said, because there's still asbestos in need of remediatin'.)
She also said the city wants the property razed, for reasons that become apparent as soon as you step foot on the property. As you can see from the photo above and those after the jump, some of the buildings have already begun collapsing in on themselves. The wrecking ball will soon enough become redundant. The place reeks of rot. City Attorney Tom Perkins confirms the city now views the once-swingin' property as a threat to public health and safety.
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For the time being, at least, the exterior buildings will remain. They are presently home to a few bodegas and hair salons and the dingy China King Super Buffet, where, on Tuesday night at 7, all the tables were empty save one. It's the interior being demolished -- meaning, the square over which the clock tower, pictured below, keeps watch.
Five long years ago I chronicled my childhood love affair with European Crossroads, so I won't revisit those old ghosts. But till Tuesday night it had been long while since I'd wandered those cobblestone streets surrounded by buildings that look like they were bombed by allied forces in 1944. I wouldn't recommend it after dark -- I kept expecting someone to jump out of the shadows and ask for my papers. I went back yesterday, during daylight hours; it wasn't much better.
Four years ago, there was a tentative plan for a European Crossroads extreme makeover: "a 20,000-square-foot grocery store, a 22,000-square-foot restaurant, a 10,000-square-foot medical office building, a 4,000-square-foot bank and 25,000 square feet of retail spread across seven buildings," says here. But the owner at the time, ERCS Corp., abandoned the plans and sold to something called Northwest Overlake LLC, which was incorporated in May 2007 by attorney Addison Wilson III, for whom several messages have been left today. The whole piece of property is on the tax rolls at $1.95 million.
And so, soon, that'll be that -- European Crossroads, once home to Bachelor's and The Constellation and other swingin'-'70s hot spots, will be reduced to rubble at long last. Bombs away.