STANWOOD – An unusual attempt to sell an 1890s-era hotel in Stanwood on eBay might need an awkward asterisk.
The city has red-tagged the hotel portion of the Stanwood Hotel and Tavern, declaring it unsafe for occupancy.
The city has given the building’s owners, Tami and Bob Anderson, until July 31 to remove all tenants from the hotel. Some live there as renters. The tavern area was not included in the violations cited.
The Andersons have appealed the city’s inspection. Their lawyer, Bruce Galloway of Lake Stevens, is getting a second opinion from an engineering consultant.
Galloway questioned the timing of the city’s notice, which first came to his clients’ attention June 23. Two days earlier, The Herald ran a story about the unusual online listing, which was first posted June 16 and was still on eBay’s popular auction Web site as of Saturday.
“It’s not usual to see a newspaper article and then get notice of infractions the next day,” Galloway said.
The problem with that theory is the city’s police department had already requested a building inspection on May 9, after responding to a complaint, said Stephanie Cleveland, the city’s planning director.
The news about the eBay listing was an unfortunate coincidence, Cleveland said.
“We were all surprised,” she said. “Actually, it would be great to have somebody buy the building” if they could afford to fix it up, Cleveland said.
The Andersons have listed an asking price of $425,000 for the two-story, 7,660-square-foot building at 26926 102nd Ave. NW.
Tim Nordtvedt, the city’s building inspector, visited the hotel June 23 and identified the following violations of the International Building Code, which Stanwood uses:
“Apparent severe foundation, wall and floor structural damage – hazardous and unfit for human habitation.”
A tenant “exiting from the second story of the building passes through the apparently dilapidated and dangerous portion of the building.”
Tami Anderson did not dispute that the building needs repairs.
“We know that we need to put a new foundation in,” Anderson said. “We don’t have the cash to put into it.”
She said they would tell any prospective buyers of the building’s problems.
Those problems might not be bad enough to warrant kicking out all the tenants, though, Galloway said. It depends where the damage is in relation to the rooms, he said. That’s why he has hired a consultant for a second opinion.
That engineer’s report could be ready by the end of next week, Galloway said.
“If my engineer agrees with the (city) inspector, we will immediately withdraw the appeal,” Galloway said. “I’m not in this thing for a fight if there’s no reason to fight anything.”
Reporter Scott Morris: 425-339-3292 or email@example.com.