A temporary stop order on concrete work at the Hibbing Building, 18121-18123 Harwood Ave. in Homewood, prompted owner Joe Peters to announce he is stopping the project. Both Peters and village officials said miscommunication contributed to the impasse.
The renovation effort has been going for about two years. Extensive renovations to the building have been completed. Peters’ plan was to lease one of two commercial spaces in the building to Old Fashioned Donuts and to open a hotdog shop, Hibbing Hotdogs, in the other.
Last week, work began on the concrete at the front of the building, where old steps and a the base of bay windows that have been removed left a potential tripping hazard, according to Peters.
On Monday, Dec. 11, a village building inspector issued a temporary stop work order because the concrete work had not received review and a permit, according to Village Manger Napoleon Haney.
In a Facebook post Monday evening, Peters said he no longer plans to open the two businesses. The post prompted an outpouring of support from village residents who have been following the project.
Peters said the inspector told him the work at the front of the building was not ADA-compliant. Peters said the approved plans for the renovations included ADA access at another entrance and that the slope required at the front would not be practical because it would take up too much sidewalk space.
Haney said negotiating the details of specific aspects of renovation projects is routine and stop orders are intended to give the village and business owners time to make sure everything is done according to code.
He said Building Department Director and Fire Chief Bob Grabowski had personally supervised the project since it began. Haney said the concrete work at the front of the building had not been reviewed and approved.
In a Facebook comment Wednesday morning, Peters disputed the assertion that a permit had not been issued.
Peters reported on Facebook that as soon as the stop work order was issued he immediately called Mayor Rich Hofeld, Haney and Grabowski to discuss the situation. He said he spoke with Hofeld and Haney but was unable to reach Grabowski.
Haney confirmed the initial calls and said all three officials have tried to return calls but have not been able to talk with Peters as of Tuesday evening.
He said officials are eager to iron out the problem.
“We’ve been great partners. This is not insurmountable,” Haney said. “It’s possible. We just need a call.”