Troy Planning Commission votes for demolition of historic building

Planning Commission voted 4-3 Monday to approve an application for demolition of the Tavern building at 112-118 W. Main St. just west of the Troy Public Square. CONTRIBUTED BY NANCY BOWMAN
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Planning Commission voted 4-3 Monday to approve an application for demolition of the Tavern building at 112-118 W. Main St. just west of the Troy Public Square. CONTRIBUTED BY NANCY BOWMAN

Tavern building in downtown Troy was first built in 1800s.

TROY – Planning Commission voted 4-3 Monday to approve an application for demolition of the Tavern building at 112-118 W. Main St. just west of the Troy Public Square.

The proposal had been controversial for more than a year as owner 116 W. Main St., LLC, Randy Kimmel, of Covington, said it was not financially feasible to repair the building with portions dating to the 1840s.

It housed an early county courthouse and was damaged in the January 2020 tornado that hit downtown.

A group of local residents was working to convince the commission to deny the demolition and save the structure. The Troy Historic Preservation Alliance earlier held a rally outside the building calling for the saving of its history and has been waging a public campaign to make that happen.

Last week, the Troy-Miami County Public Library Board of Trustees voted to make an offer on the structure. The library said, if it could obtain the building, it would use it to expand on current services.

The building already was under a purchase contract with another party while due diligence was being performed. That offer to buy included a condition for building demolition with an eye toward developing a boutique hotel on the site.

The Planning Commission earlier heard public comments on the proposal. It did not allow public comments Monday, only questioning of city staff. A legal question that led the commission to table the request in late September was resolved, the commission was told.

Commission members Jim McGarry, Mayor Robin Oda, Service/Safety Director Patrick Titterington and Ed Westmeyer voted “yes” on the demolition while commission Chairman Alan Kappers and members Sandra Ehrlich and Larry Wolke voted “no.”

Kappers said before the vote he thought the reuse plan accompanying the application for demolition was “inadequate.”

Immediately following the commission vote,  most of the audience left the meeting before the commission concluded its business.

“We are disappointed that four members of the planning commission, including the mayor, turned their backs on a win-win solution for the community by supporting this fatally flawed application for demolition. This is a sad day for Troy,” the Troy Historical Preservation Alliance said in a written statement requested following the meeting.

The organization is “exploring all of our options,” representative Loraine Wyatt said.

“We are disappointed in the planning commission’s decision. The library is in dire need of additional space and we saw the library’s potential purchase of the building as a win for the city, the library, the community and Mr. Kimmel,” said Rachelle Via, director of the Troy Miami County Public Library. “We felt our offer was a good start—considering we were not allowed in the building - and were looking forward to negotiating further.”