Former Sears store at Burnsville Center declared hazardous

A store property previously home to Sears at Burnsville Center has been declared a hazardous building, according to an agenda report from the city of Burnsville.

On Dec. 27, the Burnsville Fire Department reported to the Seritage SRC Finance-owned property at 14250 Buck Hill Road for a water leak.

The responders found a 3-inch fire suppression system pipe that was broken. It was also discovered that the building didn’t have a functioning fire alarm or heat, which are both required.

According to the agenda report, the water was shut off to the building, and the owner was informed of the issues that needed to be fixed.

Before the water leak was reported, the Burnsville Center Management notified Seritage about the cold temperature in the property, with the only separation between the building and Burnsville Center being a metal gate that allows air to flow freely.

After the water leak investigation, Seritage was also told they must actively patrol the property on fire watch until the fire suppression and fire alarm system are repaired.

On March 2, the fire department went to the property and found no changes had been made. The property was deemed uninhabitable and hazardous.

A day later, a joint letter was sent by the fire chief, building official and code enforcement staff to Seritage ownership about the issues and code violations that posed a risk to the building’s footings and plumbing.

The fire department reached out about the fire protection repairs on March 29 but received no response from Seritage. On April 5, Burnsville Building Official Chris Faste sent a letter to Seritage revoking the certificate of occupancy of the property until the repairs were made.

On April 10, the fire department was notified that the fire suppression system had been fixed. After another inspection a day later, however, officials found the fire alarm was still broken.

The city staff and attorney plan to file a civil lawsuit concerning the code violations. As part of the civil action, the city could either repair the code violations or demolish the building.