The owner of a partially collapsed building in downtown Davenport now has an outside adviser speaking on his behalf.
Local 4 News spoke to Harlan Loeb, Wold’s advisor, and learned what Wold has been doing since the partial collapse of The Davenport that killed three people and left others without shelter or belongings.
“At the very beginning he was just completely … he was, I guess the best way to put it, is absolutely beside himself,” Loeb said.
“He obviously mourns the lives of the three people who lost their life. I do believe he’s put together and is continuing to put together a support grant for all of the survivors.”
When Local 4 News asked about the state of the building before the tragedy, Loeb defended Wold and pointed some of the blame at the City of Davenport.
“He was aware that the building was in need of substantial repair and service in certain categories but (that) was based on an engineering report that he commissioned. I don’t want to call it an all clear, but it was a safely sufficient building to occupy.”
Wold is scheduled for a court hearing Friday to pay a fine for a building ordinance violation in Davenport. We do not know whether he plans to show up in person.
Local 4 News also heard Thursday from the leader of the team who recovered the bodies of Branden Colvin Sr., Ryan Hitchcock, and Daniel Prien.
Some video and photos released by Iowa Task Force One take us closest to the building since the collapse. They show some of what that team dealt with as they looked for those three men.
Part of the challenge was 12 to 15 feet of water in the basement. Every moment in the building was dangerous, said Rick Halleran, Iowa Task Force Cedar Rapids division chief.
“You walk very cautiously through the building,” he said. “We don’t jump around in the building. Every step you take imposes new loads onto a building that is somewhat unknown as to whether it’s going to be able to hold you up or not.”
The team is happy to bring some level of closure to the families of the three men.
Meanwhile, property owners in the downtown area are sharing how they do business with their buildings. Downtown Davenport is filled with many old buildings, and their condition is a concern to many in the community now.
Other property owners – who did not want to be identified – in the downtown area now want to assure people that not all business owners are the same, emphasizing the importance of communication.
“I think the most important thing. is just number one, understanding that, as an owner of the building, as a landlord, it’s not just a situation where you’re just collecting a check. you have an obligation to respond to tenant issues, to repair things. And it’s got to be a reciprocal arrangement,” said a landlord who asked for anonymity.
Just to be on the safe side, with all of the chaos from the recent building collapse, some property owners will have structural engineer inspections next week.
Helping people affected by the collapse
In the meantime, a local organization is is accepting donations to help people affected by the partial building collapse. Project NOW, a community action agency, is collecting non-perishable food and hygiene items, as well as essential clothing and furniture, to distribute to people displaced in the collapse.
The agency’s Executive Director Dwight Ford says partnership within the community is important, especially during times like this. Project NOW is accepting site donation drop offs from 6-7 p.m. Monday-Thursday throughout June.
The theater group who was set to perform in Mockingbird on Main is working to help people who have been impacted by the collapse.
The Haus of Ruckus reached out to Moline’s Black Box Theater to host a benefit on Sunday, June 11. Admission into the play, “Funkyology,” is by donation only, with proceeds going to those impacted by the collapse.
This will be an acoustic performance, because the set, props, costumes and puppets were all lost in the collapse.
“But that’s nothing that a whole lot of cardboard can’t fix,” the group’s founder, Tee Green, told Local 4 News.