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(Photo by Thom Petersen)

One of the buildings that is part of the Machinery Row project is collapsing, but the warehouse at 900 Water St. could be coming down in the next month.

A multi-phase retail and apartment complex, the project is expected to occupy a 20-acre site. But the developer Rodney Blackwell, owner of Iowa-based FDP Properties, ended up having to evict two tenants that have property stored at 900 Water St.

The city Redevelopment Authority granted an extension to Blackwell last week, according to a story by the Racine Journal Times.

“FDP had to force two tenants out of the building that still had their stuff in there,” said Racine Mayor John Dickert. “Because of the squatting laws in Wisconsin it took longer than expected to have their remove their property from the building.”

But as those tenants — Tony Berendes and Ron Husman — removed the items, the building is falling further into disrepair.

(Photo by Thom Peterson)

“A lot of the stuff is being stored in the area that is going to be torn down and that section of the building is in bad condition,” Dickert said. “It’s literally falling apart and it has taken far too long to get this resolved.”

FDP Properties told Dickert that they still need to get a demo crew that is certified in asbestos abatement and lead paint removal, but they are in the process of contracting with a company to do the work.

The demolition crew will peel off the outside of the building first, then go in and work on tearing the inside of the building. Only a portion of the building will be taken down at first. The work is expected to start in about 20 days.

The first phase represents $42 million of the $65 million project.

Denise Lockwood has an extensive background in traditional and non-traditional media. She has written for, the Milwaukee Business Journal, Milwaukee Magazine and the Kenosha News.