KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Crews from the city’s dangerous buildings department have blocked off an area around the old Mardi Gras Club in the 18th and Vine District after parts of the building’s roof and wall collapsed Thursday.
The collapse was reported Thursday around 2 p.m. No injuries were reported.
“It's sort of if you planned to play a game of Jenga over the course of two hours and instead it came down in 15 minutes,” Henry Service, the attorney for the building’s owner, said.
The building's owner, Lisa Walker-Yeager and her structural engineer, Clark Kelly, told 41 Action News the partial collapse was planned.
“They were starting to take down the brick from the top down it started to move and the bulge went first and some of the interior went with it as well,” Kelly said.
“It's hard to say that's necessarily planned if it is-it's a heckuva way to do business,” Kansas City Councilmember Quinton Lucas who represents the Third District At-Large said.
According to city records, inspectors deemed this a dangerous building back in 2015.
“But we have been in the courts with the city trying to give Lisa enough time to put enough money into the building to get it done,” Service said.
Neighboring businesses like Smaxx and Velvet Freeze Daiquiris are looking forward to the completion of the building.
“That corner spot if she can get that up that secures our future that makes the whole entire block look completely finished,” Tiara Taylor-Dixon, co-owner of Velvet Freeze Daiquiris said.
Yeager doesn't call the partial collapse a setback and said she plans to open the new Club Mardi Gras by late summer.
“We're going to bring the vitality back on this corner, it’s coming back,” Yeager said.
“There's a lot of investment going on at 18th and Vine and this is just part of the growing pains when you're trying to bring back an area where you have old historic facades,” Service said.
The city is waiting for a report from one of their engineers to determine whether this building must be demolished immediately or if it can be saved.