Flooding Cleanup

Mud is caked across the parking lot outside La Hacienda and Golden Wok Buffet in September 2018. City officials said the building now poses a sanitary hazard, and the Manhattan City Commission gave building owner Mark Samarrai a deadline of Dec. 1 to clean or remove the building.

The city is moving forward with plans to demolish the building at 3003 Anderson Ave., which used to house La Hacienda and Golden Wok, sometime in early 2020.

High water damaged and inundated the building during the Labor Day flood in 2018. It remains as a dangerous, unsafe building, said Ryan Courtright, assistant chief of risk reduction for fire services.

The status of the building itself has not changed much, Courtright said, but officials plan to meet Wednesday to discuss bids for demolition of the building.

In September, the Manhattan City Commission gave owner Mark Samarrai a deadline of Dec. 1 for repair or removal of the building. He said at that time he had been in the hospital sporadically “for quite a while” with a medical condition that he did not identify.

Once officials select a bid, the city will pay for the demolition and then bill it to Samarrai, who is aware of the plans, Courtright said.

“We’re trying to get that process wrapped up as soon as we can,” Courtright said.

If Samarrai fails to pay back the city for demolition, the cost will be listed as a special tax on property taxes, Courtright said.

The city and Samarrai have been in contact to make sure that windows and holes are boarded up at the structure.

Officials also will test the building for asbestos prior to demolition.

If asbestos is found, the demolition process has to be changed, Courtright said.

Last year was the second time this decade the building experienced significant flooding. In 2011, a flood led to business closures at 3003 Anderson Ave. including Valentino’s Grand Italian Buffet and Time Out Corner, a game room.

Samarrai did not answer a phone call or email from The Mercury by press time.