After more than a decade of uncertainty and contention, a prominent property in the heart of Tuscaloosa has officially escaped the threat of condemnation and demolition.

The almost infamous property was the Quik Mart service station at 1500 McFarland Boulevard which was badly damaged by the EF-4 tornado that devastated the city in April 2011.

Its repair, renovation or replacement has been delayed by 12 years of legal battles between the property owners, the city of Tuscaloosa and the state of Alabama over the future use of the property, but the Thread covered those issues back when the property was listed for sale in December 2022.

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A nighttime fire at the property then kicked off a year of tough negotiations with City Hall, who on more than one occasion seemed poised to condemn the building and order a demolition. Instead, though, they tabled the issue every few months, giving the property owner time to address code violations and continue seeking a tenant for the building.

(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)
(Stephen Dethrage | Tuscaloosa Thread)

Over time, contractors took down the overhang that once covered the Quik Mart gas pumps, and then extensively renovated the exterior of the building.

City staff says the interior is gutted, awaiting new construction inside to suit whatever tenant ultimately leases the building, but it is up to code.

After almost a year of discussions, ongoing site work and leniency from the city council, the seven-member body voted unanimously against declaring the property a public nuisance and ordering its demolition.

This allows the property to "roll off" the city's list of nonconforming properties and removes the threat it will be torn down.

City staff said property owners have not found a tenant for the building yet, but stay connected to the Tuscaloosa Thread for updates on the property as they become available.

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