Back to: Investigates
December 22, 2016 06:00 PM

PAve Building Being Assessed; City's Response To Complaints During Construction

Sioux Falls

The PAve Building remains empty in downtown Sioux Falls, while the owner, Legacy Developments, works to shore it up. Subcontractors have been allowed into the building to remove items and start making repairs. City of Sioux Falls Building Services will need to approve the structure for public use again. 

The City tells KELOLAND news that can only happen after structural engineering plans have been submitted and approved and the structural fix is in place to make sure the building is safe. Our calls to Legacy Developments to ask when that may happen have not been returned.

Our KELOLAND News investigation revealed that at least a half dozen complaints came into the City of Sioux Falls while Hultgren Construction was working on the PAve building remodel.   

Now, the City tells us how it responded to those complaints.

Our news cameras followed the progress of the new PAve Bar as the former Skelly's was being remodeled by Hultgren Construction.  

Only our investigation revealed that fourteen days after our camera took you inside, the building failed its pre-final inspection by the City of Sioux Falls. KELOLAND News has learned that the inspector felt uncomfortable with the framing and wouldn't even stay in the building. We're told the issue was later corrected.

Then there were other issues including no scaffolding over the sidewalk on Phillips Avenue when it was blocked by the contractor. The City says it told Hultgren that the sidewalk could not block pedestrian traffic in December of 2015. The City also says when the work was done on the facade, the contractor did install scaffolding. 

We have a picture of the scaffolding that was eventually set up in the front of the building. OSHA received a complaint from a neighbor about how the scaffolding was set up on stacks of lumber, but we're told nothing changed. 

There were also issues behind the building on Mall Avenue. KELOLAND News obtained video of large debris being thrown into a dump truck below, while the sidewalk remains open and there is no diversion of foot-traffic.

The City of Sioux Falls tells us between April and August of 2016, it got several complaints concerning access to Mall Avenue. The City says one lane was required to be open at all times, but subcontractors and others blocked the entire street at times. 

There were also issues with illegal parking and flat tires. The City says it monitored the area and gave out tickets when necessary, and even called a tow truck a couple of times - but by the time the tow truck arrived the violators had left. 

The City says when it informed Hultgren Construction of the problems, Hultgren told its subcontractors to follow the parking rules. 

The neighboring building owners also complained that construction debris from the project was littering the area and those complaints were turned over to the Health Department.

Over a six month period, City inspectors were in PAve 35 times, and it failed various aspects of those inspections eight times. 

In the City's final building inspection report in September, the only work that wasn't complete was the handrail to the basement in an area not accessible by the public.

Hultgren Construction is not responding to issues on its past construction projects. 

 

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