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Vacant West Loop Building Torn Down After Partial Collapse; City Says Unpermitted Work Was Being

CHCIAGO (CBS) -- Friday the rest of the walls came tumbling down at a vacant building in Chicago's West Loop. It is the latest domino to fall after the city called out a neglectful owner.

There were years between the owner's last listed inspection and permit violantion, so CBS 2's Steven Graves asked who else could be going unnoticed?

Demolition crews tore the building apart brick by brick Friday, a day after a partial collapse left a wall leaning against an apartment complex.

Chicago's Department of Buildings blamed a bad rehab project, saying its owner was doing a full glutting without a permit. It not only closed down a city street but also forced neighbors to evacuate.

One person said the work had been going on for weeks.

So how did this fall through the "inspection" cracks? The latest inspectiona nd violation against the owner of the building, Mariusz Florek, was in 2012.

The Department of buildings said the frequency of checkups varies. Some are done based on complaints or on a consistent monthly or yearly basis. It depends on the building type, a spokesperson said.

Data given to CBS 2 from the city shows consistency over the past decade, indicating regular inspections. We calculated an average of 111,000 each year.

But last year there was a significant drop to roughly 42,000.

The city said the pandemic affected in-person inspections. Court hearings had to pivot to phone resolutions for building complaints.

The city said now the pace is picking back up. Their data shows an increase over the past moths matching pre-pandemic numbers.

The city reiterated the sole cause of this was work being done without permits, not the lag in inspections.

The building owner is not footing the bill for the deconstruction right now. The city contracted out to a company, meaning that bill is on taxpayers, but the city says it will eventually get the money from the owner.

It's a mess that left some people without a home, but Friday they got the all clear to return.

Efforts to reach the owner were unsuccessful.

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