High-Speed Rail construction project being blamed for damage to two Downtown buildings

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The old Dale Coffee building is a landmark in Downtown Fresno. But building owner JP Maroot said the 80-year-old building was damaged when the High-Speed Rail Authority tore down an adjacent building, that shared a common wall with his structure.

"The cause is cracked walls and floor separation. It's falling on the outside and its just been eight months of just back and forth."

Deep gouges in the cement exposed rusty rebar on the outside wall. Inside, there are cracks and crumbling concrete.

Maroot said his concerns have been ignored for eight months, so he hired a lawyer and is going to court claiming damages in excess of a million dollars. He said the damage has delayed his efforts to renovate the building.

"I haven't finished any of the plans I had to finish this property."

Jake Kojikian, the owner of the 100-year-old Mayfair Apartment building just across the alley, believes demolition of the old Tuolumne Street overpass has caused structural damage to his building.

"We had constant vibrations when they were doing the demolition. Obviously our bricks, this building was 100-years-old when we reinforced it seismically. With constant vibration, we definitely had some cracks here. The concrete has cracked, there's cracks in the brick, and we certainly have damages."

The High-Speed Rail Authority and contractors are evaluating Kojikians claim.

As to Maroot's damages, they issued a statement saying "we do not comment on pending litigation. We are committed to doing everything we can to work collaboratively with any and all impacted property owners."
Copyright © 2021 KFSN-TV. All Rights Reserved.