Troy reopens West Main Street after 10 months; Tavern/IOOF building repairs OK’d

Section of street in center of town had been closed since June; 1800s-era building that was on edge of demolition now stabilized, but eventual use unclear

TROY — An order that led the city to close West Main Street downtown nearly 10 months ago was lifted late Thursday by the Miami County Building Department, following stabilization work on the 112-118 W. Main St. buildings by the new owners.

Work to reopen West Main Street between Cherry and Plum streets, just west of Troy’s Public Square, began around 6 a.m. Friday by city street crews. By 9 a.m., traffic was flowing.

“Our first priority was to get the road opened as quickly as possible,” said Patrick Titterington, city service and safety director. “... We are very appreciative of everyone’s efforts on the stabilization project, who worked impressively to meet a difficult deadline. We look forward to seeing that building transitioning into a repurposed retail, office and/or residential space that contributes to the vibrancy of our great downtown.”

A statement from Miami County through the county commission office said the building department “has determined that the requirements necessary under the Ohio Revised Code to stabilize the building have been completed” and the adjudication order was lifted.

A final inspection of the repairs on the building — needed for a final building permit — is scheduled for Friday afternoon. The detour lasted 295 days.

The buildings in question were bought Dec. 22 by the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance (THPA) as part of the settlement agreement in an extensive legal dispute over the fate of the buildings, which at one point were proposed for demolition.

The buildings, formerly known as the Tavern, now are known as the IOOF and old Miami County Courthouse buildings. IOOF is the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, a fraternal and social organization that once called the site their home.

The buildings were constructed at different phases, in the 1840s and then in 1902, and were damaged by a January 2020 tornado that moved through the downtown.

“Our heartfelt gratitude goes out to all those who played a role in the stabilization of one of Troy and Miami County’s most historic buildings,” said Ben Sutherly, president of the Troy Historic Preservation Alliance. “This was a resounding victory for a culture of stewardship in downtown Troy. May the lessons of the past four years be long remembered and heeded.”

The sidewalk and street parking spaces in front of the buildings have been closed since just after the tornado. Then in late June 2023, the city closed that block of West Main, citing safety reasons, after county Chief Building Official Rob England and Troy Fire Chief Matt Simmons said their inspections showed the buildings were unsafe.

Mayor Robin Oda said the closing was a “long 9 1/2 months,” and the city was happy the barricades are gone.

“Our residents, businesses and visitors have awaited this day for far too long but now we can restore some normalcy in our community,” she said.

The city said parking lanes will remain blocked while some non-stabilization work continues. Driving lanes and parking stall striping will be painted next week. The parking on the south side of West Main between Cherry and Plum streets will remain closed until the painting is complete.

The city also will change the parking on the south side of the street between Plum Street and the Public Square to parallel parking, at least temporarily, because of the earlier realignment of Main Street from Adams Street to the Square. The city will be reanalyzing traffic counts, traffic flow and parking layouts designed earlier and approved by the state as part of preparations for a downtown streetscape and safety improvements project.

The Troy Historic Preservation Alliance bought the buildings in December from Randy Kimmel and 116 West Main LLC of Covington for $485,000 as part of a settlement of legal action in the Miami County courts and the 2nd District Court of Appeals.. As part of the agreement, THPA said it would make agreed-to structural repairs by April 30, or the building would be demolished.

At one time, city boards approved a request to demolish the buildings. Demolition actually started on part of the rear of the structure early one morning in March 2023. Sutherly then stepped between a large backhoe and the rest of the building to stop it. A quick court order halted the process and the demolition decisions were later overruled by Miami County Judge Stacy Wall and the appeals court.

THPA is a nonprofit organization. It had raised more than $816,000 for the building stabilization project as of a Monday, April 15 report to Troy City Council by Sutherly. More than 300 donors were involved in the fundraising so far, he said, adding THPA was “blown away” by the generosity of donors.

He said final work on the building was ongoing this week, including filling in a coal chute in a building basement and placing plywood over broken windows facing West Main Street until repairs or replacement.

How the buildings eventually will be used has not been determined. The stabilization work addressed structural items identified by England as needing to be addressed to make the buildings safe.

Sutherly said earlier this year that THPA’s role initially was to make sure the buildings get back on a path toward reuse and contributing to the downtown again.

THPA has heard interest in use of the buildings, he said at that time.

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