Demolition of Troy Tavern building stopped after early-morning start

Engineer’s report says demolition is safest option; city says owners need to follow legal process

TROY — A Miami County judge Wednesday morning issued a court order stopping demolition of the Tavern building at 112-118 W. Main St. after crews began early morning removal of a portion of the structure.

The city of Troy issued a stop-work order at the building in the historic district while the city went to the Common Pleas Court.

Judge Stacy Wall issued an order to prevent the building owner of 116 West Main from demolishing, razing or removing any part of the structure until further notice. The city in its request argued the owner was required to obtain a certificate of appropriateness through the city and its historic overlay district before removal.

The building owners’ attorney, Derek Muncy, was among those gathered outside the rear of the building Wednesday morning. He said an order received Monday from the Miami County Building Department ordered abatement of the property because it posed an imminent danger and was a safety hazard.

“It speaks for itself. We are doing our best to comply with those orders,” he said.

Representatives of the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance also were on hand Wednesday morning. Jeremy Tomb, an attorney whose offices are next to the building, said cameras at his building showed workers on site and working around 3 a.m. A small garage-type building at the rear of the property was removed, said Rob England, Miami County chief building official.

Troy Historic Preservation Alliance member Ben Sutherly briefly stood In front of a bulldozer working to remove a portion of the structure. When he arrived shortly after 7 a.m., “They were actively bulldozing,” he said. “I stepped between the bulldozer and the building. “There is a legal process to be followed, and it needs to play out.”

****** ORIGINAL STORY ******

County calls Troy Tavern building ‘serious hazard,’ demands action in 14 days

TROY — Miami County’s Building Department issued an order Monday citing an “unsafe building/serious hazard” at the Tavern building, 112-118 W. Main St. downtown, and gave the owner no more than 14 days to abate the issues.

The adjudication order from Rob England, chief county building official, and was hand-delivered Monday afternoon to owner Randy Kimmel of 116 West Main Street LLC.

Neither Kimmel nor his attorney responded to requests for comment Tuesday afternoon.

The order followed county receipt March 23 of a building re-evaluation by Mark Stemmer, a professional engineer with Tri-Tech Engineering of Centerville. The report was requested by Kimmel on March 8, according to a memo from Stemmer that was included in the county adjudication orders.

“Conclusions drawn from the field inspection include Mr. Stemmer’s professional opinion that ‘if an event occurs where prescribed loads are approached, the building will suffer a partial or full collapse and people and property near the building would be in imminent danger,’ ” the building department said in a media release Tuesday.

England said a review of the information led him to conclude that “a serious hazard exists and must be eliminated as soon as possible.” He cited heavy winds as a potential threat.

“Heavy winds are a frequent occurrence this time of the year, any one of which could serve as an event to exceed the ability for the building to maintain structural integrity,” England said.

The building with portions dating to the early 1800s was damaged in a January 2020 tornado that hit the downtown area. Since then, a fence has closed off the sidewalk and parking in front of the building, which is located near the Public Square and the county Courthouse.

The fate of the building has been in the courts. Ohio’s 2nd District Court of Appeals last Friday upheld a fall 2022 order by Common Pleas Judge Stacy Wall, overturning demolition permit approval that had been granted by two city boards.

Kimmel’s attorney, Derek Muncy, wrote in a statement following the court ruling that, “At this point in time, we are most concerned with the safety of the structure as a whole. We are exploring all of our legal options to proceed with demolition of the building.”

City representatives contacted Stemmer earlier this month asking what needed to be done to the building so work on the West Main Street reconstruction project could begin in the area.

The engineer’s report includes these options for the structure:

1. Remove all structures from the site.

2. Remove the 1902 structure and the structures east, west and south of the 1841 building from the site.

3. Remove the 1902 structure above the third floor.

“Option 1 above eliminates the hazards associated with the structures and is the safest option,” the report stated.

The report states that damage reported in previous evaluations still remains, along with additional areas of observation including a portion of a ceiling at the southeast corner “has been removed and provides access to view the roof structure,” plus cracks were observed in the exterior wall of the 1841 building section.

The city of Troy earlier this month filed four misdemeanor property maintenance violations against the building owner in county Municipal Court. An arraignment on those charges is scheduled April 4.

The county order issued Monday has no impact on the city of Troy’s permits and procedures, said Richard Osgood, county development director.

“This order does not in itself authorize or elevate demolition as an option. The serious hazard could be remedied via approved repairs,” Osgood said.

Patrick Titterington, Troy’s service and safety director, said Tuesday that, “Nothing changes as far as what the property owner needs to do for us. The county’s order reinforces the need for measures to be taken.”

About the Author