The Press Newspaper

Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Northwood has applied for a low interest state loan to clean up asbestos in two buildings remaining at the site of the former Woodville Mall.

The buildings that used to house the Andersons and Elder-Beerman remain on the property where the main mall structure was razed in 2014 due to structural issues. Before the buildings can be torn down, the city is required to remove the asbestos.

“We’re going to clean it up,” said Administrator Bob Anderson.

“There is a loan available for hazardous material. We filed a 480 page application with the state a couple of weeks ago.” He expects to hear about the loan by January.

“It’s a very low interest loan that we would pay back over 15 years. Meanwhile, we’re looking at contractors to get cost estimates to remove the asbestos and tear down the buildings,” said Anderson.

Estimates to remove the asbestos are expensive, he added.

“We’re talking about $2.5 million to remove it. There is some residual value to the property. Hopefully, the asphalt and steel can be recycled by the contractor. That will help us with the demolition costs. But the big cost is the asbestos removal. There’s no way to get around it.”

Sears still owns property at the site, though the building was torn down, said Anderson. The city would like to acquire the property to control the entire parcel.

“Kudos to Sears for doing the right thing. They removed the asbestos and tore the building down. But I don’t know what they’re going to do with the property,” he said.

Northwood has no interest in keeping the mall property, he added.

“Our first priority is to get the asphalt out and tear down the buildings. We will consult with experts to see what to do with that property. We’re not going to let it just sit there. The city has no interest in owning it. We’d like to develop it.”

The mall, which was built in 1969, was shuttered in 2011 after officials from the Wood County Health Department and the City of Northwood toured the structure. They found a leaking and collapsing roof and ceiling, mold, wet carpeting, no heat and an inoperable fire suppression system.

The Anderson’s decided not to renew its lease with the mall due to the deteriorating conditions of the structure, and closed in 2013.

Northwood sued the owners of the mall after they failed to make needed repairs. The city eventually acquired the property through a sheriff’s auction earlier this year. The Wood County Sheriff recently filed the deed. “There were liens on the property, but we finally got it all straightened out,” said Anderson.

 

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