Demolition set for Harrison Twp. condos damaged by 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes

The apartment building on Lofty Oaks Lane in Harrison Twp. was abandoned three years ago after sustaining significant damage from the 2019 Memorial Day tornados. FILE

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The apartment building on Lofty Oaks Lane in Harrison Twp. was abandoned three years ago after sustaining significant damage from the 2019 Memorial Day tornados. FILE

More than three years after they sustained significant damage from the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes, a set of condominiums on a hillside overlooking the Stillwater River in Harrison Twp. will be demolished on Friday.

All five of the abandoned condominium units — located at 4000, 4002, 4004, 4006 and 4008 Lofty Oaks Lane in Harrison Twp. — were declared dangerous properties with unsecured structural damage by township trustees in the aftermath of the tornadoes.

“The township has been working over the last three years to secure funding, perform our due diligence and coordinate all of our resource partners to make this possible,” Harrison Twp. Administrator Kris McClintick said this week of the demolition project.

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Houses on Lofty Oaks Lane along the Stillwater River at Shoup Mill Road were severely damaged by a tornado on Memorial Day. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

Houses on Lofty Oaks Lane along the Stillwater River at Shoup Mill Road were severely damaged by a tornado on Memorial Day.  TY GREENLEES / STAFF

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Houses on Lofty Oaks Lane along the Stillwater River at Shoup Mill Road were severely damaged by a tornado on Memorial Day. TY GREENLEES / STAFF

The Lofty Oaks Lane condominiums were originally built in 1975, according to property records. In October 2019, the units were among a round of hearings on dangerous properties. Scott Jones, an owner of one of the units, said during the hearing that the condo association was supposed to be carrying insurance on the building, but he later learned from the insurance company that the policy had been cancelled. Jones told trustees he had been paying another occupant the condo association fees each month.

Township officials obtained the funds necessary to raze the condos, as well as other Harrison Twp. properties damaged by the tornadoes, through a $109,000 Community Development Block Grant approved by Montgomery County commissioners last summer.

“It’s a lingering reminder of what happened,” McClintick said in 2021 when the township stepped up its efforts to remove the large eyesore that continues to blight the area. The condos overlook a primary crossing between Harrison Twp. and Dayton, along Shoup Mill Road. “(Removing) this is critical to help the community finalize healing and move on to the next phase and rebuilding.”

The demolition work will be completed by FCS Construction Services Inc. from Dayton.

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