Northwood has received 10 bids for the abatement/demoltion of three buildings that remain at the former Woodville Mall site.
Bids were opened Feb. 20 in council chambers.
The three buildings that will be razed include the former Elder Beerman, The Andersons, and Tireman. Those buildings are costlier to demolish because they contain asbestos. As a result, the city sought a licensed and insured contractor to demolish the buildings.
“The demolition includes the removal of all the stores, and their foundations,” said City Administrator Bob Anderson. “It does not include all the asphalt at the entire site. The city is planning to deal with that later, and do it in phases.”
Among the bids that were received for abatement and demolition:
• Midwest Environmental submitted a bid for abatement and demolition for $1,947,000;
• Paschal Bihn & Sons submitted a bid for abatement and demolition for $2,356,264;
• Gibbs Construction submitted a bid for $886,700 for just demolition;
• Salenbien Trucking/Excavating submitted a bid of $895,406 for just demolition;
• Precision Environmental submitted a bid for abatement and demolition for $3,601,400;
• Total Wrecking/Environmental submitted a bid for $2,635,468 for abatement and demolition;
• Razmus Demolition submitted a bid for $669,008 for demolition;
• SafeCo Environmental submitted a bid for abatement and demolition for $2,325,000;
• Sitetech, Inc. submitted a bid for abatement and demolition for $4,297,734.
• Pro Quality Demolition submitted a bid for abatement and demolition for $2.7 million.
“I haven’t made a formal recommendation to council of who should be awarded the bid,” Anderson. “The bid will be awarded to the winning company at the March 9 regularly scheduled council meeting.”
The abatement/demolition bids are the latest in the city’s quest to remove all remnants of the former mall, and possibly market the property for future development.
The city was involved in a long legal process to get the former owners of the mall to demolish the buildings that had fallen into disrepair.
The mall was shut down and boarded up in December 2011 due to violations of several Wood County Health and Ohio Building codes.
In a default ruling against the mall owners, a judge in 2012 stated that the mall had moisture, mold and water damage throughout the building; the sprinkler system was non-functional in parts of the mall and may be inadequate in the event of fire; the owner had not paid for gas to heat the mall and that the pipes of the sprinkler system may freeze over the winter, causing further damage to the fire suppression system; the roof had failed leaving two large holes and numerous leaks in other parts of the roof; and water had caused damage to the floor in the mall, soaking the carpet and buckling the flooring in some sections, causing unsafe walking conditions.
The city had filed a complaint against the owners of the mall, Ohio Plaza Shopping Center LLC and Woodville Mall Realty Management LLC, in the Wood County Court of Common Pleas for nuisance abatement, and removal of the building.
After a hearing, Wood County Court of Common Pleas Judge Reeve Kelsey ruled that the owners must raze the buildings by May 2, 2014. He had set up a schedule for the owners to follow in preparation of the demolition, but the owners failed to abide by the schedule. Eventually, the city acquired the property with the intention of abatement and demolition. The need to remove the asbestos was proving to be expensive, and the city spent time looking at its options.
“It’s something we’ve been working on for years,” Anderson said of the abatement and demolition.
The Ohio Water Development Authority last week approved the city’s application for a low interest loan for asbestos abatement, said Anderson.
The interest of the loan, which is from the Authority’s Brownsfield fund, is at 2.4 percent over a 10 year period.
The city will fund the remainder of the cost of abatement and demolition, said Anderson.
“This is all taxpayer money,” he said. “We did look into various grants to abate the asbestos and demolish the buildings, but none was available. But we did do due diligence in looking for grant money.”
Following approval of the bid, he said he would like to see the project completed in six months.
“The buildings should be gone by the fall,” he said. “They have to remove the asbestos and dispose of it properly. That’s why the city couldn’t do it.”
Although the city owns the property, “we have no end users right now.”
Under consideration is rezoning the property to a Planned Unit Development, which would give the city more flexibility as to what is developed at the site.
“It could be a mixture of commercial and residential,” he said. We’ve had some discussions about what we’d like to see done with it. We’ll talk to a developer or two to get some ideas. But right now, our main goal is to get the buildings down.”