Bye bye Keller building?

There's finally a plan and solid financial backing to demolish one of Sandusky's most dangerous, decrepit structures.
Andy Ouriel
Aug 23, 2013

City commissioners plan to vote Monday on a proposal to raze the Keller Building on West Shoreline Drive.

"It's necessary that it comes down now," commissioner Wes Poole said. "The building has reached the point where we haven't had any viable offers to utilize it. It is deteriorating from exposure to the weather, and we have made a decision that it's going to come down."

Keller Building bits
• Sandusky city commissioners plan to vote Monday on a proposal to demolish the Keller Building.
• The demolition costs, including environmental work, are estimated at $550,000.
• At the earliest, the condemned West Shoreline Drive building will come down in 2014.

If a majority of commissioners approve the vote, officials will then seek out contractors and obtain project costs. The condemned structure could fall as early as 2014, Sandusky engineer Aaron Klein said. Engineers are still working with project consultants to hammer out a construction timeline.

Klein, in a memo to commissioners, estimated the demolition cost and related environmental work would run about $550,000. A bond would cover $400,000, while city funds would cover the remaining $150,000.

Earlier this year, city commissioners agreed to borrow up to $2.7 million in bonds to help pay for the Keller Building's demolition.

In the past, city officials have leveraged these funds to make various improvements in this area, such as:

• Building a public walkway around the Chesapeake Lofts.

• Repairing the emergency breakwall.

• Establishing the Paper District Marina.

In the recent past, city officials have addressed some Keller Building concerns. They spent $19,000 in September 2012 to tear down the crumbling chimney, then $26,000 in April for a preliminary demolition plan.

Meanwhile, a portion of West Shoreline Drive by the Keller Building will remain closed until the building comes down, Klein said.

Fears about safety risks peaked in February 2012, when a brick fell from the building's chimney and plummeted several stories onto West Shoreline Drive. No one was injured, but the situation still concerns nearby residents, who say they'd be pleased to see the building torn down.

"It's a deathtrap," said West Shoreline Drive resident Bob Gentzel, who represents a group of residents at the nearby Chesapeake Lofts.

Since February 2012, officials blocked off the area, a main corridor leading from the Paper District Marina to the downtown business district.

Another mystery revolves around the building's iconic water tower.

"We have had phone calls requesting to have it and to buy it," Klein said. "At this point, it's going to be the contractor's responsibility."

Comments

camero

its about time this should of been done long ago so they need to hurry and find a company to bring it down asap and after it comes down what is going to go there anything or is it going to be a field of high grass and weeds

Licorice Schtick

The story says "A bond would cover $400,000, while city funds would cover the remaining $150,000."

Um... A bond is paid for with city funds.

The city BOUGHT the building. If at that time it needed to come down, they should have condemned it, not bought it. If it was sound at the time but not now, then they let the building deteriorated due to incompetence and neglect. But the claim that collapse is imminent is disputed, an special interests have long lobbied for demolition on the public dime for their private benefit.

The city has gotten EVERYTHING wrong, and they're not done yet. Now they will go into debt to tear down an historic paper factory in in area they're promoting as the "Historic Paper District."

And no one is asking, "What will it be instead?" That's a very important question.

This whole story is a farce.

From the Grave

Yes, this will happen,
when all the bodies in Oakland cemetery rise From The Grave...

starryeyes83

A vote? You have to vote? Seriously?

Before or after someone gets hurt? Because if that happens, with all the prior public documentation. It will be one huge lawsuit and more than likely national news.

gramafun

I hope they hurry and bring it down safely before someone gets hurt. All it will take is a bad storm to shake something lose....like that iconic water tower....and someone will pay with their life. Take it down like should have been done long ago. Again, Poole is the spokesperson. Isn't there anyone else on that commission that talks besides Poole and Cole or are the other commissioners mute?

BDupler

Finally some logic!!! I am sure that a couple people will complain and state various historical reasons not to make the city safer and more appealing, those are the same people that have been holding Sandusky back from being what it could be.

gramafun

amen, amen, amen.

Dwight K.

Its a shame seeing old buildings be torn down. I know its expensive to renovate but buildings are part of history

Unassumer

It's SHOULD HAVE been done long ago. Didn't you guys have an English teacher here? There is no such thing as should of, could of or would of. It's have in every case. And it's THEIR house where THEY'RE living over THERE.

lugnut2511

It seems to me, that the city of Sandusky commissioners are only in a hurry to raze something, when someone is ready to invest into the property, that way the can offset the cost and it looks better in the citizens eyes. However, this is a safety hazard and must be taken care of right away..

gene44870

welll here comes some promises that arent going to be done .Sandusky is all talk and no action ,

DEEPsix's picture
DEEPsix

DEAR city... iN CASE MANY OF YOU HAVEN'T BEEN VIEWING YOUR CITY, you have more than 14 BUILDINGS THAT HAVE TO GO TO THE GROUND DOWNTOWN.... What a mess this city is, and visitors ALWAYS COMMENT to us, "how can such a perfect area be so ignored and such a mess!"
You need to wake up, or get the #ell out of this dump of a place. SCHOOLS are terrible because you have to REVENUE to revamp the system, services, I"m not going to even talk about that aspect...
Good luck, oh, BTW.... look at Detroit, Toledo, and Lorain. Hello?

eightballcuet1

As much as I hate seeing our historic buildings being razed I must say this was inevitable. Hope they can save the water tower on top and maybe build a park or something around it.

Minnow

THANK YOU!!!!!!IT'S about time.......keep improving our city!!!

sorryhog

Who owns the building? Why should the taxpayers have to pay to tear it down?

gene44870

sorryhog , the city baught it and owns it so its the tax payers problem

Darkhorse

The city is a victim of people dumping one old building after another onto the city. It started with the Lasalle Building, Reiger, and then the Keller Building. The city and its taxpayers are through being victimized financially over trying to save old buildings. We are not considered developers, instead, we assist developers by extending certain loans of which we can extend to the developers and nothing more.

The Rudy

As a visitor recently said, "this is such a beautiful, unique waterfront area, why is that decrepit building still there? It detracts from the whole area and it looks like it's ready to fall down. It's a shame they have to close the street and ruin the continuity of it."
I couldn't agree more. Get it torn down ASAP.

SKULLNBONES

Next, maybe Sandusky International will clean up its buildings! What an eyesore they are! How about some fresh paint and landscaping? Thanks for the jobs, but a clean and nice facility would be much appreciated!

Darkhorse

SII does need a coat of paint. I have never seen the building look like it does. The building and grounds were always kept up in the past. Things are going to start to happen down on Water Street, and they need to clean up their act.