Demolition to begin at bar destroyed by fire - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Demolition to begin at bar destroyed by fire

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Posted: Friday, February 1, 2008 7:04 pm | Updated: 11:03 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Backhoes are ready to go and trash bins are being delivered to a Scottsdale bar destroyed last summer by fire.

The blackened structure of the Sandy Rabbit Sports Grill is being knocked down to make way for a new building more than seven months after the June 20 blaze. The bar at 2323 N. Scottsdale Road has been vacant since.

Scottsdale code enforcement officers declared the site an eyesore in September and ordered the property manager to clean up the debris.

Elizabeth Rand, the out-of-state owner of the property, said demolition is set to begin in the next couple of weeks. Scottsdale records show the city issued the demolition permit on Dec. 4.

The only thing holding up the demolition now is that Southwest Gas needs turn off the gas temporarily, said Malcolm Hankins, a city code enforcement manager. "The city recognized that there was a problem with the building and has been working to find a solution," Hankins said. "We are optimistic that this is the last thing that needs to be done so that demolition can begin."

Rand said the reason for the lapse between the fire and when the permit was issued was due to an insurance holdup. Rand said the city threatened to fine her for the debris, but she was never cited.

Neighbors and business owners in the area said they are glad to see something finally being done. An employee at Discount Tire in Scottsdale who called himself Mike T. said he is happy to see workers on the property.

"Since I live in the area, I most likely will be a patron," he said. "But it also is a great place to send our customers who are waiting for their cars. When we have a two- or three-hour wait, giving our customers the option to go grab some food really relieves a lot of the tension."

Mike T. said Sandy Rabbit allowed Discount Tire to use its parking lot for overflow in return for sending customers to the bar. "It will be nice to be able to do that again," he said.

No permits have been issued for building a new structure on the property.

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