May Apartments, site of major downtown Portland fire, to be demolished

Back on May 16, Portland Fire and Rescue raced to save Maxwell Hall at southwest 14th Avenue and Taylor St. as the May Apartments went up in flames right next d
Published: Jun. 10, 2023 at 12:13 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - The downtown Portland apartment building where a massive, four-alarm fire started last month will be demolished, the Portland Bureau of Development Services confirmed to FOX 12.

BDS said the owner of the May Apartments, located at 1410 Southwest Taylor Street, has decided to have the building torn down. The owner is soliciting multiple bids for a contractor for the work.

BDS said it will allow demolition under emergency authority while a permit is being processed. It said a start date for the work hasn’t been set. Once a contractor has been chosen, it will move as many of the occupants’ belongings out of the building as possible.

Access to both the May Apartments and Maxwell Hall on Southwest 14th Avenue is not allowed by residents or the general public. The city is requiring security at the site 24-hours a day. It expects streets in the area to be closed for several more weeks because of a building fall risk.

BDS confirmed Saturday the owner of Maxwell Hall has hired a restoration contractor that is ready to begin work. It said the contractor can begin work at its discretion and may move residents’ belongings out of the building for retrieval. Maxwell Hall sustained smoke and water damage that make it temporarily uninhabitable.

SEE ALSO: Displaced tenants of burned SW Portland apartments say arson suspect ‘terrorized’ them for months

On May 16, a four-alarm fire at the May Apartments displaced more than 100 people. First arriving crews found flames shooting from the third and fourth floors.

On May 25, an arson arrest was made in the fire. Police arrested 30-year-old Garrett Repp, a resident of the May Apartments, on multiple charges. He is charged with Arson in the First Degree (2 counts), Reckless Endangering Another Person (18 counts), and Criminal Mischief in the First Degree (11 counts).