Charlotte City Council approved a resolution to accept MCS Excavating’s bid of $35,000 to demolish the building (known locally as The Piece) located at 108/110 E. Lawrence Avenue. The former Carriage Cleaners building, which became notorious for a meth lab explosion in the second floor apartment, was purchased by community members in 2016 and donated to the City of Charlotte to make way for a pocket park.

City Council approved the resolution at its Monday, Oct. 23 meeting. Community Development Director Bryan Myrkle said work to demolish the property would likely take place by mid-November. The project was originally planned for a spring 2017 demolition. Contamination from dry cleaning solvents in the basement of the property, however, has slowed the project.

Once the building is demolished, a compacted layer of gravel will fill and cover the property during the winter months. The first step in the demolition includes a lot of work inside the building to contain any contaminants. Myrkle said engineering work will begin this winter in terms of identifying the scope of the next phase of the project.

The City Council approved $60,000 for the project in the 2017-18 fiscal year. Myrkle said the community’s vision for the completed pocket park project is going to take more time and more money to complete.

“I think it’s going to take a year or two to complete,” Myrkle said in October. “It really depends on the city’s and community’s willingness to follow through on the vision the community had for the park. There is no doubt we are going to need to go out and look for grant donations, in-kind donation, and cash donations. If that doesn’t come to fruition, the scope of the project may be scaled back if there isn’t financial support for the project.”