They invited us neighbors to tour the building last month so later we could present unbiased testimony as to its state of disrepair. It's an old brick building that was used as an ammonia freezer for decades, to the point that the ground underneath was frozen solid for 24 feet down. The building heaved up an entire foot on top of this ice ball, and now it's in the process of thawing out. And subsequently sinking.
So yes, I can testify that it seemed unsalvageable. I was actually a little scared to even be inside it. They had marked Xes on the walls across cracks, and you could see that their marks had visibly shifted just over the course of some months.
In an e-mail to the Georgetown mailing list today, Sabey representative Jim Harmon wrote:
The silver lining here is that a new building can be placed of equivalent mass, setback off the street to create pedestrian room, allow reasonable vehicle access and circulation, and open up the "great wall" between the east and west sides of Airport Way. This building is in the process of being designed.
Johnson Architecture + Planning, whose work doesn't blow me away but could certainly be worse, is supposed to have some designs done by September 1. Let's hope they're on their best game for this project, which will one of the biggest changes to the neighborhood since I-5 went in.
Here's the application to the Landmarks Review Board to get permission to demolish the structure. You can see the maps and the history and everything there.