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Alexander Lumber building in Oswego to be torn down

The former Alexander Lumber Co. site has sempty since lumberyard downtown Oswego closed 2006. | Jenette Sturges~Sun-Times Media

The former Alexander Lumber Co. site has sat empty since the lumberyard in downtown Oswego closed in 2006. | Jenette Sturges~Sun-Times Media

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Updated: January 9, 2014 6:21AM

The wrecking ball is headed for the Alexander Lumber building in Oswego.

Patty Lariviere, village building and zoning manager, announced at the last Village Board meeting a demolition permit had been issued to the property owner and the demolition will begin in the next few days.

The lumber yard, described as a “meddlesome” vacant building at Washington and Adams streets in the downtown, had ongoing property maintenance code challenges for the village and property owner, village officials said.

“Building maintenance and weed over-growth, it was really starting to have a lot of violations,” Lariviere said. “In addressing those violations with the property owner, they determined it was in their best interest to tear it down.”

Two months ago the Village Board gave the OK for the owners to raze the structure with hopes the property would be more attractive to prospective developers, so the announcement that demolition equipment would arrive on the site as early as Monday was seen as good news.

The company closed in 2006.

Village President Brian LeClercq said in its time the lumber yard was a thriving family-owned business and employer for local residents, but it has since moved on. The company’s website says it has 27 retail locations in Illinois and Wisconsin, including one in Joliet.

“When you enter into the village, that is the gateway, and I am not sure we want an abandoned building for a point of reference for people,” LeClercq said. “We would like to see the site redeveloped.”

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