Manhattan is looking to demolish an apartment building that was substantially damaged in the 2018 Labor Day flood of Wildcat creek.

The city opened bidding last week to demolish 1001 through 1023 Garden Way and revert it to open space on September 6 and will accept bids until the 20th. The 3-building 12-plex is not occupied and was recently purchased for demolition thanks to a federal and state emergency management grant.

Manhattan has bought out multiple properties per year through the grant program. Assistant Community Development Director and Manhattan Floodplain Manager Chad Bunger says the intent is to reduce run-off and “to make sure that those structures are out of the way and those people living there are no longer at risk and [make]a better situation for the whole Wildcat Creek watershed.”

The building’s first floor was inundated by about six feet of water during the flash flood, which occurred after Manhattan was drenched by an estimated one third of its annual rainfall in around a six hour period that displaced hundreds. Bunger says floodplain regulations would have required the building be raised one foot above the 100-year flood level — or a flood event with a one percent chance of occurring annually. For this property, that would be five and a half to six feet of elevation and extensive renovations in order to be reoccupied.

“That’s why they volunteered to work with us through this grant,” says Bunger. “We pursued the grant shortly after last year’s flood and they were one of  the [property owners]we reached out to knowing the challenges they faced.”

The property buyout totaled about $715,000 including estimated demolition costs and the grant covers 75 percent of the cost —  with the remainder being drawn from the city’s Stormwater fund. It’s one of four buyouts the city is performing this year, all of which total $1,300,000.

Bunger says the area has the potential to be made into a trailhead for Linear Park or a connector to some existing trails in the area in the future, but the primary focus is to revert the property into open space.

“Everything else on top of that with parkland or trails or whatever is wonderful cherries on the top of making the area safer.”

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