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Delinquent property taxes on Galesburg building damaged by fire

The third floor of a building at Prairie and Main in Galesburg is being demolished after a fire on Monday, Feb. 18.
Jane Carlson
Tri States Public Radio
The third floor of a building at Prairie and Main in Galesburg is being demolished after a fire on Monday, Feb. 18.

The city investigated complaints about the condition of the building from tenants.

Parcel taxes were sold late last year on a downtown Galesburg building that was damaged by fire this week.

The third floor of the building – which had one apartment and a large open space – is currently being demolished.

The brick building at Prairie and Main streets had businesses on the first floor and apartments on upper floors.

It has been determined the fire – which caused at least $160,000 in damage – started on the third floor.

The cause of the fire has not been determined, but the investigation is ongoing.

Three people were in the third-floor apartment at the time of the fire around 10 a.m. Monday and were able to escape. One was treated for smoke inhalation, and two pets died in the fire.

Tenants on the second floor had registered complaints with city over conditions in the building.

South Carolina owner

Records from the Knox County Assessor show 61401 Galesburg LLC purchased a parcel including 149 and 151 E. Main St. from Zan Carter for $199,500 in October 2022.

Carter had owned the building since 2010, according to property records.

The 2022 purchase by warranty deed was just weeks after the LLC was registered with the state of Illinois. Minarsi W. Feszchak is listed as the manager for 61401 Galesburg LLC, and the address for the LLC is in Mount Pleasant, S.C.

More than $10,000 in 2022 property taxes payable in 2023 were not paid.

In November 2023, the parcel taxes were sold to Ivy Jack Inc., based in Washington, Ill.

In Illinois, the property owners have some time to redeem the property taxes before losing ownership.

Records from the Illinois Secretary of State show Feszchak has two other business entities registered in Illinois – 61455 Macomb Properties LLC and The Sanctuary on 2nd LLC.

All three LLCs were registered with the state by a Galesburg attorney.

Tenant complaints

Complaints from tenants on the second floor beginning last summer included bed bug infestation, lack of lighting in hallways, and other concerns.

According to inspection reports, no bed bugs were found in the apartment, but there were ants.

Other problems in the apartment included fungus growing up from the floor, a perpetually clogged kitchen sink, and electrical issues.

In a press release, the city said they investigated the complaints through multiple rental inspections and contacted the owner and property management company to request necessary corrections.

Though the owner of the building is based in South Carolina, the property manager is Macomb Rentals.

“The unit which was the subject of prior complaints was not the unit in which the fire originated and was unoccupied at the time of the fire. Efforts by the property management company to remediate the complaints were ongoing,” the city said in the release.

 Tri States Public Radio produced this story.  TSPR relies on financial support from our readers and listeners in order to provide coverage of the issues that matter to west central Illinois, southeast Iowa, and northeast Missouri. As someone who values the content created by TSPR's news department please consider making a financial contribution.

Jane Carlson is TSPR's regional reporter.