Residents push Sandusky officials to topple Keller building

For years, Sandusky officials have explored different options for the Keller Building.
Andy Ouriel
Feb 21, 2013


Some argue to demolish the decrepit West Shoreline Drive structure.

Others wanted to wait for a developer to swoop in and revitalize the century-old property into something viable, maybe apartments or a brewery.

But the blighted building still stands with no real action plan or timeline implemented by officials to remove the property.

This inactivity continues to frustrate a batch of concerned residents living around the condemned property.

For more on why the residents are upset and reaction from the city, pick up a copy of Thursday's Register.



How can one join the push. Amazing that some of the people that fight to keep that building from being "toppled", also claim to be fighting for progress in this town...


Too much money needs to go into this building to make it viable. Though I would love to see it revitalized, like the Apex Building, it's not going to happen. Tear it down and put a lien on the property for demolition cost. I know people may think it's stupid to do that, but prime waterfront property for condos...a developer would pay it.

The Bizness

I would tear it down and put the lean on it, but then offer a tax break to future developers to help recover costs for the lean.


Hard for the City to put a lean on a building the City owns


It's not hard to do. Demolish the building, put a lien on the property to recover the costs. It's a condition of sale.

T. A. Schwanger


I just finished researching this and what I found was Tax Increment Financing (payments in lieu of taxes) from the Chesapeake Lofts property taxes on new ipmrovements will pay for the demolition of the Keller Building.

The TIF is a 30 year TIF and is currently generating approx. $500,000 per year to be used for infrastructure improvements in the Keller, Tricor Chesapeake area. This includes demolition, streets, parks etc.

BW1's picture

Paved, the contractor who tears down the building can put a lien on the property for his fee.


I would think that the contractor will be paid by the city to tear it down and the city will get their money back when they sell the land. I stand by my other post. Would be a great place to locate municipal court and the police dept.

BW1's picture

That would be one way it could be handled, but I wasn't addressing that. The question was whether a lien could be placed on the property for the cost of demolition. A lien is a claim against a property for money owed by its owner. The owner can't make a claim against itself. The question was regarding the use of a lien if the city could not afford the money upfront, and such a lien would need to be placed by the contractor, which I believe would require first that the city be invoiced for the contracted amount and not pay the invoice.

The Answer Person

This shows the shortsightedness of the people behind saving this dump. Did they EVER get out THEIR checkbooks or just want to tell you how to run your town and your life? It is pathetic that the financial opportunities were lost because of a bunch of gladhander cheapskates. Now the city is stuck with a hazardous wreck.


Exactly! Nobody wants to put their money where their mouth is.


Duh. It's covered in germs!


Tear that whole block down and when the city gets ready to make a new court and police station put it there.


So how long until the whole thing starts to collapse.... If this thing hurts or kills someone who will will be sued besides the city?

I don't know, I reside out of the county so maybe it's time to get Fox 8 down here to do a story or Channel 11 or 13?

Truth or Dare

Great point paved! What I want to know is how much in Taxpayer $$$$'s has been spent on this building since we became the proud owners of such a "hazardous" building, and is that contract regarding a time span for a Developer to come forward obsolete yet? If so, what's the hold up?


As part of an agreement involving the Paper District with the US Army Corps of Engineers to create the Chesapeake Lofts and the transient marina, the city was forced into agreeing to maintain and market the so-called Keller Building. It was actually the Chroma Color factory at one time. Keller was the name of the last owner who held up numerous opportunities to redevelop this property by asking an outrageous amount for the property. This made all efforts to redo the property economically unfeasible. The city with the help of the community foundations finally acquired the property. Many lost opportunities. Hopefully, the new vacant building ordinance that Fire Chief Ricci worked on will end this cycle for other buildings.

Truth or Fiction

The agreement with the Army Corps was forced upon the City because the State Historical Preservation Office didn't like the balconies and the drivit on the Chesapeake remodel. The Keller was offered up as a sacrificial lamb to allow the development of the marina, etc.


While I will agree that the Keller Building may have beed part a our downtown I believe that it would be in the towns best interest to replace it with a more useful structure.

T. A. Schwanger


I just finished researching this and what I found was Tax Increment Financing (payments in lieu of taxes) from the Chesapeake Lofts property taxes on new ipmrovements will pay for the demolition of the Keller Building.

The TIF is a 30 year TIF and is currently generating approx. $500,000 per year to be used for infrastructure improvements in the Keller, Tricor and Chesapeake area. This includes demolition, streets, parks, marinas etc.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I think that it would be better to lose the Keller Building and open that area up. Even if there was a condition of whatever is built on it must have a "historical" look or facade. But it is an expensive hazard. Before it gets knocked down there could be many chances to photograph it inside and out for historical record. I wonder if the University of Toledo (using them for an example as they are an Ohio school with a reputation for an engineering program) can help defray the cost of demolition if it gets to help plan it and use it as a learning tool for students? What a hands-on program that would be! Or even get several universities to come in and lend assistance and funds to its floor plan recording and knock down.


Once its gone, the open space would make that area alot nicer. Would not want to dock my boat there for a night and walk uptown past somthing like that at night.

Truth or Fiction

I agree with goodtime. It is a narrow strip of land. It would make for a nice greenway leading to the downtown.

2cents's picture

Oh, the good old days on the job.


I thought recently the city commission was exploring the cost of demolition? Was that not something already decided by the city, to get bids on demolition of that structure? What happened? Is this just something else that got started and never got finished?

Truth or Fiction

Prior to the whole Memorandum of Agreement with SHPO (whose interests were represented by the Old House Guild), the recommendation was to condemn and demo the structure. Estimated cost eight years ago was approximately $650,000. Phase I and Phase II EPA studies have been done and remediation of asbestos on the roof and some PBC in the elevator shaft is minor. Issues regarding TCP can be easily vented should the land be dedicated to park area. The Chesapeake TIF could most likely be used to demo the building as it was included in the TIF boundries. The building is a hodge podge with approximately 2/5 being old wood structure that was severely compromised by a roof and structural failure several years ago. The remaining 3/5 being concrete and rod structure. The north face of the building has been weakened by the freeze/thaw cycles over the decades causing the stone to crack and weaken adding to the question of how sound is the structure. There are questions regarding the water tower support peirs. In short, it is an accident waiting to happen that is a detriment to the public safety; hence, the closing of Shoreline Drive.


It should be the next Hooters. For historical reasons keep the "R" the exact same and just paint in the HOOTE and S. We need Hooters I mean a Hooters. What's a City without them?


swing, batter batter ,swing... that's a cheaper demo alternative or a bunch of slingshots simultaneously {sp?}

It's gotta come down quit messing around with this.