The Bergmann Hotel in downtown Juneau (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

The Bergmann Hotel in downtown Juneau (Michael Penn | Juneau Empire file)

24-hour eviction notice posted at Bergmann Hotel

  • Thursday, March 9, 2017 5:37pm
  • News

Tenants of the Bergmann Hotel have until mid-day Friday to get out.

The residents will likely be evicted after the City and Borough of Juneau on Thursday afternoon issued the owner of the downtown hotel a 24-hour notice of code violations, citing major health and safety concerns.

“Owner Kathleen Barrett, under Breffni Place Properties LLC, has 24 hours to rectify the violations. If she fails to do so, CBJ will be forced to close the building and tenants will have to be evacuated mid-day Friday,” the city said in a statement provided to the Empire.

Issues at the Bergmann — a historic building at the intersection of Third and Harris streets that has deteriorated over the years — are long-standing. Since October 2016, CBJ’s fire marshal and building code official have issued Barrett notices of code violations, and the past several months have included various inspections and walk-throughs.

Health issues include an inoperable sprinkler system, inconsistent heating, no hot water, sewage issues and improper roofing, according to the CBJ statement. CBJ is working with the Salvation Army and other social service agencies in case of evacuation, looking to find places for displaced individuals to go.

Owner James Barrett said the time he and manager Charles Cotten have spent “messing with inspections” has kept them from actually fixing the problems. This has all culminated, he said, in a “show of force” by the city.

“I assure you we’ve been at this for a long time, trying to get things done,” Barrett said. “It’s time-consuming. Every other day, these guys are showing up.”

[This gritty ex-con rebuilt his life. Now, he’s trying to rebuild the Bergmann]

Barrett said he believes the city is targeting the Bergmann because of its ongoing litigation with the Barretts over the Gastineau Apartments, which were demolished after two fires.

“Every time something happens in the court case with the Gastineau, the fire department is breathing down our necks,” he said, “It’s a little uncanny.”

Barrett said he feels that his goals and the goals of the city should be the same — a “safe, quiet, tidy hotel.”

He doesn’t want his vulnerable tenants displaced, adding, “They’re arguing about nonsense, really.”

Cotten concurs, saying that the problems are being caused by disgruntled former tenants he evicted due to drugs, alcohol or violence.

[With upcoming changes to derelict hotel, uncertainty lingers for tenants]

“It’s nothing to do with the Bergmann,” Barrett said. “It’s unfortunate. … These people need a place to live and I’m intent on providing that.”

After receiving the eight-page notice that the building had been posted as unsafe for human occupancy late Thursday afternoon, Barrett vowed to fight the proposed evictions.

“I’ve had people working 18 hours a day,” he said. “I’m going to keep pushing and getting things done as much as is humanly possible (before the deadline).”

[Empire Editorial: Cleaning up the Bergmann]

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