TROY — The Troy Planning Commission approved the application for demolition of the Tavern Building in Downtown Troy. The building was damaged in the January tornado in 2020.
This has been a divisive issue in the community for more than a year.
The planning commission does not typically take public comments but allowed that in this case as well as significant input from people in Troy throughout the process. The owner, Randy Kimmel of 116 West Main LLC, first filed for demolition in September of 2020. It’s been a long process for the commission to try and find the best outcome. One of the biggest issues for those opposing the possible demolition is what would happen to the space in Troy’s historic district.
“The first recommendation of staff goes on to say quote it is staff’s opinion that raising the structure and not replacing it will leave an obvious gap in the streetscape,” Alan Kappers, Chairman of the Troy Planning Commission said. “Planning commission should require a rescue plan that meets all of the requirements of the above section with new construction that would meet the architectural design standards as a condition of demolition. I agree with the first recommendation. The minimum reuse plan submitted with the application is in adequate in my opinion.”
In 2020 there was a rally to save the building on Main Street. At one point the cost of the repairs and renovation was estimated at $4.1 million in March 2021, according to the city staff report. Another estimate was done last month and it was projected to cost approximately $3.2 million. According to an estimate from Bruns General Contracting, the cost to meet the minimum building code standars would be approximately $659,788.
“Based on the fact that the applicant has provided adequate proof of substantial economic hardship providing clear evidence of at least two conditions which outweigh the historic architectural and cultural value of the Tavern building,” Ed Westmeyer, member of the Troy Planning Commission, said.
The building is not listed on the national register of historic places. There is a plaque from the Troy Historical Society, posted to the building in 1969, which states parts of the building had been part of Troy’s courthouses and jails. Preserving historical things like the plaque as well as making sure the shared walls for the buildings on each side are left in safe condition.
“The rescue plan shall include restoration of the site with landscaping consisting of seed and straw or sod until such time in the future the property owner comes before the planning commission with further requested site improvements,” Westmeyer said.
The approval of the demolition application does not guarantee the building will be demolished. However, the building is under orders from the Miami County Department of Development to resolve “unsafe conditions related to public safety.” Earlier this month, the Troy-Miami County Public Library Board of Trustees voted to make an offer on the building.
The commission was told Sept. 28 there was a contract to buy the building with an eye toward putting a boutique hotel in its place. Demolition of the existing brick structure built in 1840 and 1902 is a condition for sale by the party exploring purchase.
The future of the building is still unsure.
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