Crews begin demolition of Flats on 4th building
HUNTINGTON — Crews have begun to demolish the Flats on 4th building, which was the site of fires and criminal activity after being left empty for more than three years.
AB Contracting of Point Pleasant, West Virginia, purchased the building for $351,000 in December 2018. A company representative said Allen Bell, founder and owner, would announce any future developments planned for the site. A call to Bell was not returned this week.
The building began as a hotel in the 1970s, but was later converted to student apartments. The building has stood abandoned since April 2016, when it suffered $10,000 in damages after an electrical and trash fire displaced more than 100 students for three days. The facility closed shortly after.
The city attempted to keep squatters out of the building after it was abandoned by placing construction fencing around the building for about $1,200, which was paid by Chase Bank. In October 2018, a late-night fire broke out inside one of the rooms at the facility and was suspected to have been started by squatters. The room’s ceiling collapsed on firefighters, but no one was injured.