Richland County Land Bank considers taking ownership of former Plymouth Hotel
MANSFIELD - The Richland County Land Bank is considering taking ownership of the former Plymouth Hotel at 26 Trux St.
sg飞艇appAmy Hamrick, manager, said during a Wednesday meeting held online on Google Meet, that Plymouth has asked the land bank for help in demolishing the two-story building for years, adding the structure's first floor has begun to collapse into the basement.
Further adding to the disrepair, a car struck the nearly 150-year-old building's back corner this month, Hamrick said.
The owner, who has expressed interest in donating it to the land bank, bought the building in 2018 for $906.
Board member Jeff Parton expressed opposition to taking ownership, saying the owner accepted responsibility for demolishing the former hotel that faces East Main Street when they bought it.
The cost of demolition could be at least $50,000, and it shares a wall with an adjoining three-story building. That wall would have to be supported if the Plymouth Hotel came down.
Board member Joe Gies proposed a motion to see how much it would cost to hire a structural engineer, which passed unanimously.
sg飞艇app"This thing is going to sit here forever," he said. "Plymouth has no money to tear it down. I'm all for at least getting the structural engineer in there just to see what we exactly have to do."
sg飞艇appIn other business, board members unanimously voted to pay Alpine Electric $7,427 to install electricity in the former Swan Cleaners building on Park Avenue West, which the land bank has been renovating for at least a year.
The Swan Cleaners project is just one example of the Richland County Land Bank's goal of having a hand in redevelopment, and not just demolition of blighted structures.
Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency awarded a $411,000 grant for asbestos abatement, petroleum contamination and environmental remediation. The building housed a dry cleaning and laundry business from 1946 to 2014.
The Board of Directors approved a motion in January 2019 to transfer the building to Little Buckeye Children’s Museum once the environmental cleanup is complete.
The inclusion of Little Buckeye’s intent to revitalize and repurpose the building played a major factor in the EPA’s decision to award the grant to the Land Bank, said an EPA official when he delivered the good news in person.
The board also unanimously voted Wednesday to pay Adena Corporation to fix the building's foundation. While removing debris inside, cleaners discovered structural damage along the northwest wall.
sg飞艇appThe board, after receiving an initial estimate of $71,580, voted last month to have Hamrick get other estimates. Staff found the estimate to be fair, although the final cost could turn out to be lower.
sg飞艇appBefore they ultimately green-lit the repair work, Board Chairman Bart Hamilton asked for a motion to award the project to Adena Corporation.
sg飞艇appWhen none of the board members did so, Richland County Commissioner and board member Tony Vero expressed incredulity.
sg飞艇app"So we're not going to make a motion?" he asked. "How does this project finish if we don't get the foundation finish? So we're just going to kill the Swan Cleaners project?"
sg飞艇appRichland County Commissioner Marilyn John then put forth the motion, which Vero seconded.
sg飞艇appWhen John asked how much money the land bank has put into renovating the building, Hamrick said the EPA grant requires a local match of 20%, which is about $83,000 to $87,000. After the foundation repair is complete and electricity installed, the land bank will have spent another $72,000 or $80,000, she added.
John urged board members that the same level of focus needs to be given to all properties in Richland County.
"We're spending land bank money on this building so the same consideration needs to be given to other properties like a Plymouth hotel," John said. "It's the Richland County Land Bank — Plymouth is in Richland County, just like Mansfield."
In a January 2019 letter addressed to the Land Bank, Fred Boll, executive director of Little Buckeye Children's Museum, pledged $75,000 to $100,000 to help with basic renovations of the building.
sg飞艇appThe coronavirus pandemic will likely affect land bank operations in the months to come.
Hamrick said the organization will not have as many additional properties to work with since foreclosures and sheriff sales have been put on hold, next year's Delinquent Tax Assessment Collection (DTAC) will probably be less than normal because late fees and penalties have been forgiven during the pandemic, Mansfield's income will be affected due to the slowing of city-funded demolitions, and sales of side lots will likely decrease due to the rise in the unemployment rate.