Judge grants stay preventing demolition of IOOF building until court reaches final decision

By Sam Wildow

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TROY — Groups trying to prevent the demolition of the building located at 112-118 W. Main St. in Troy have filed a civil complaint in Miami County Common Pleas Court this week to appeal the decision of the Troy Board of Zoning Appeals. On Thursday, Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Wall granted the plaintiffs’ motion for an immediate stay of judgment pending appeal, preventing the owner from demolishing the building until a final order is issued by the court.

The plaintiffs include Evil Empire, a limited liability company owned by Jeremy M. Tomb, who occupies the neighboring structure to 112-118 W. Main St., along with Ben Sutherly of the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance, the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance, and Cheryl Cheadle, who also owns one of the neighboring structures.

The defendants/appellees include the city of Troy Board of Zoning Appeals and Randy Kimmel of 116 West Main, LLC, the owner of 112-118 W. Main St.

According to court documents, the defendants have to respond to the complaint within 28 days of receiving the summons.

The Troy Board of Zoning Appeals voted 4-3 on Nov. 18 to approve the demolition application by 116 West Main Street, LLC regarding the property located at 112-118 W. Main St. in Troy, also referred to as the IOOF building. The property is also a former Miami County courthouse.

Board member Larry Wolke made the motion to approve the application. Wolke, along with board members Will Harrelson, Anthony Smith, and John Stickel, voted in favor of the motion. Board members Kent Frauenberger, Marty Baker, and Richard Burns voted against the motion.

The demolition application was first approved by a majority vote of the Troy Planning Commission on Oct. 11. Planning Commission members Ed Westmeyer, James McGarry, Mayor Robin Oda, and Director of Public Service and Safety Patrick Titterington voted in favor of the application for demolition. Chairman Alan Kappers, along with Planning Commission members Sandy Ehrlich and Larry Wolke, voted to reject the application.

The owner, Randy Kimmel of 116 West Main LLC, first filed an application for demolition in September 2020 due to the costs it would take to repair the building after it suffered tornado damage in January 2020. The demolition application was tabled a number of times, including twice for purchase agreements that later fell through due to a lack of funding that could be secured to repair the building.

The cost of the repairs and renovation at one point was estimated at $4.1 million in March 2021, according to the city staff report. The cost of repairs and renovation stated in September was approximately $3.2 million. According to an estimate from Bruns General Contracting, the cost to meet the minimum building code standards would be approximately $659,788.

The building is not listed on the National Register of Historic Places. There are placards from the Troy Historical Society, posted to the building in 1969, which state parts of the building had been a part of Troy’s courthouses and jails.

The original structure was constructed in 1841, and housed Troy’s fourth courthouse until 1888. The back end of the original structure is still intact. 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.