Rejuvenation Hardware: Shaking up the rules

Rejuvenation Hardware: Shaking up the rules

Rejuvenation Hardware already underwent a $1 million upgrade against quakes. But that does not count under the warning sign policy.

Twenty-four years ago, Rejuvenation Hardware founder Jim Kelly spent more than $1 million upgrading the company's landmark headquarters building in Southeast Portland to better withstand earthquakes.

The work included installing steel bracing, special flooring and concrete pillars inside the historic 1905 Neustadter Building — and even bolting it to a newer concrete building next door. The work was performed under the supervision of the Portland Bureau of Buildings, which issued a Certificate of Occupancy when it was completed on Feb. 16, 1995.

So Kelly, who has since sold the business but still owns the building, was shocked to learn the city still considers it an unreinforced masonry (URM) building — and that he must post signs warning customers and employees that it may be unsafe in a major earthquake

"I wasn't required to do the work at the time. I did it voluntarily and never imagined the city could still come after me," Kelly told the Portland Tribune while conducting a tour of his building earlier this month.

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