ATLANTA — A metro Atlanta man reached out to Channel 2 Action News after seeing our investigation into the city of Atlanta demolitions. He wanted to share his demolition nightmare too.
Everett Tripodis said the city sent warnings to the wrong address before demolishing his home on Atlanta’s historic West End.
Tripodis’ property is on Lawton Street. The zip code is 30310. But the city of Atlanta demolition documents references Lawton Avenue, with zip code 30314.
“The demolition order itself gave the city and its contractor authority to demolition a home on a completely different street and a completely different zip code,” Tripodis told Channel 2 Consumer Investigator Justin Gray.
Gray was on Lawton Street on Channel 2 Action News at 5 p.m. Wednesday, where there is now nothing left but an overgrown lot.
A century-old home used to sit on the lot near the BeltLine. Tripodis and his mother bought the house as an investment property.
He said that each year, they paid to have it listed with Atlanta’s vacant property registry as required by law.
“The city had the correct address, the correct owner’s address in its internal records,” Tripodis said.
[DOWNLOAD: Free WSB-TV News app for alerts as news breaks]
Tripodis said they were working on remodeling the home when the city demolished it.
“(We were) in the process of remodeling; they come with bulldozers and knock the entire house down,” Tripodis said. “It’s gutwrenching. I don’t even like looking at it. This is prime real estate.”
- 13-year-old Ga. boy killed while getting DoorDash delivery outside apartment, deputies say
- Driver slams into 5-year-old Smyrna boy riding new go-kart on his birthday, takes off
- Search for man with gun at Special Olympics leads to shootout with Douglas County deputies
Gray was able to verify that certified letters to an incorrect address were returned to sender.
Then there is the property address itself. It is listed incorrectly in several locations as Lawton Avenue. Lawton Avenue is a real address that is 1.4 miles away from the actual property.
“It blows my mind how they could have mistakenly sent these to the wrong address,” Tripodis said. “I come and meet the contractor one morning, and the whole house is gone. Everything is gone. Nothing but dirt.”
A city inspector found the home unfit for habitation because of junk, debris, and an unsecured entry.
[SIGN UP: WSB-TV Daily Headlines Newsletter]
Tripodis contacted Gray after seeing a Channel 2 Action News investigation last week about Andre Hadnot, who was stuck with a nearly $700,000 lien on his Atlanta property for a code enforcement demolition.
“Did you, you know, take a brick and individually blast off into space? I mean, for $700,000?” Hadnot told Gray.
In Tripodis’ case, Atlanta City Council denied to pay out his claim for damages, writing, “The council has determined that the city cannot accept responsibility for his matter and therefore cannot pay this claim.”
Tripodis has now filed a lawsuit against the city. Channel 2 Action News contacted the city for comment, but they didn’t respond.
“The city demolishes the property then sends you a bill for accidentally or mistakenly, negligently demolishing your house,” Tripodis said.
The case is now in the hands of a Fulton County superior court judge.
©2022 Cox Media Group