BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The court made it clear that the city of Birmingham is not in compliance with a February 2019 court order which was to complete renovating the Ramsey McCormack building in downtown Ensley.
Now, the city is in negotiations with a developer to renovate the building.
The hearing Tuesday was the latest in a long battle over the future of the 10-story building. Three years ago, it had been earmarked as the new home of the Birmingham Police Department in the same year it was ordered demolished by Jefferson County Judge Michael Graffeo.
The legal battle over the future of the McCormack building began in 2009 when Ensley businesses filed a complaint against the city seeking the building be demolished. Complaints included negligence, private nuisance, public nuisance, pollution and contamination.
In 2014, the plaintiffs filed a petition again seeking the demolition of the building.
The businesses listed as plaintiffs are located across the street from Ramsay McCormack. They include Playover Games and Movies, LLC, Hope International, LLC and Ensley Revitalization Committee.
“It’s not the court’s responsibility or job to access the politics, its to follow the law,” attorney Antonio Spurling said.
Spurling filed the lawsuit who represents the Ensley businesses near the building.
Now, there’s a question of whether or not the court will order sanctions that the city pays daily until the renovation is complete. That decision will be made in the next three to six weeks.
City officials declined to comment on the pending litigation. A ruling on the city’s request to extend the deadline had not been filed as of Wednesday morning.