IOOF building demolition up for debate


By Sam Wildow

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TROY — The Troy Planning Commission tabled a Historic District application for demolition for the building located at 112-118 W. Main Street, also referred to as the IOOF Tavern building, on Wednesday in order to allow for comments from the public at its next meeting on this topic.

“This has received a lot of discussion, and we have received a number of emails in the past, and we have reviewed those past emails. I believe this deserves public comment,” Chairman Alan Kappers said.

The Planning Commission came to the consenus to allow two people to speak on behalf of the demolition and two people to speak against the demolition. The primary person on each side will get five minutes to speak, and the secondary person will get three minutes to speak. Additional members of the public will also be given two minutes to speak as long they do not repeat the same points made by earlier speakers, Kappers said.

The building was originally constructed in 1841. There was a partial demolition of the north section of the building in 1902 that included the addition constructed to the north, east, and west of the original building. The building has a marker from the Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) dating back to 1902.

Development Director Tim Davis said the IOOF building is not in the Ohio Historic Inventory, and the building is not listed on the National Register. Adjacent buildings located at 110 and 122 W. Main are listed in the Ohio History Inventory.

The property was purchased by 115 West Main LLC (Randy Kimmel) in February 2018. According to the staff report, the building went through planning phases to preserve and redevelop the property. The building was also marketed for lease. Then in January 2020, it suffered tornado and storm damage, with impacted the roof and the structural integrity of the whole building. The cost of the repairs were later estimated at $4.1 million.

The owner hired Bruns Realty Group to lease or sell the building, but they were unable to find a viable tenant or buyer. The owner of the building, 116 West Main LLC (Randy Kimmel), submitted a demolition application in September 2020.

The Planning Commission, at that time, tabled the demolition application twice, once to allow for interested parties to the contact the commission and again at the request of the applicant in October 2020. At that time, the city worked with a second firm, Woolpert, to provide a peer review of the Tri-Tech Engineering report in regard to the building.

The Planning Commission revisited the demolition application in February 2021, when at that time, the Troy Development Council attempted to the purchase the building. According to city staff, the purchase was contingent on more detailed estimates and secured financing to make the necessary repairs to stabilize the building.

“They tried to put a rescue plan together,” Davis said. “During this process, they were unable to obtain the financial committments needed, even with several financial options from the city of Troy.”

The demolition application was tabled again until March. In March, the Planning Commission accepted the retraction of the demolition application when there was another purchase agreement. The purchase agreement was extended through June to allow the purchaser to complete independent inspections and evaluations of the structure, Davis said. The purchaser later revoked its agreement due to the cost of the repairs, which were estimated at $4.1 million.

The Miami County Department of Development and the Troy Development Department then provided orders against the property, Davis said.

On July 9, the Miami County Department of Development stated the owner had 45 days to resolve the unsafe conditions related to public safety and that unsafe conditions inside the building had to be resolved before anybody could occupy the building.

On July 13, the Troy Development Department issued orders to repair the structure, which required corrective action or an action plan to remedy the cited issues.

On Aug. 13, the Troy Development Department approved an extension request from the property owner through Sept. 1. Then on Sept. 1, the property owner submitted a demolition application.

The reuse plan submitted states the property owner plans to put seed and straw down on the lot and market the lot for development. The demolition, if approved, will be performed by hand and, in some cases, with small-scale equipment as a precaution to the sections of the building that adjoin neighboring structures.

Davis said city staff feel the building meets two out four criteria needed for demolition, including the Chief Building Official declaring it unsafe. City staff also noted the building meets the criteria that the price to repair the building per square foot is higher than the market value per square foot of similar buildings.

City staff also noted that, other than “the building plaques from the Historical Society in 1969, there is little to no formal documentation filed as to the historical significance.”

The demolition application also notes that, while the building once contained one of the Miami County courthouses, it has undergone several renovations that make the first floor space unrecognizable from its original state. The application notes “the only portion of the building that is even remotely recognizable in its original state is the rear, 2-story structure.”

The Troy Planning Commission meets on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month at 3:30 p.m. in council chambers on the second floor of City Hall, located at 100 S. Market St. The next Planning Commission meeting is currently scheduled for Sept. 22 at 3:30 p.m.

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