City tables demo of West Main Street building

TROY — On Wednesday, city of Troy Planning and Zoning staff recommended denying the pending application to demolish the 112-118 W. Main St. building in a report to the Troy Planning Commission.

Following a detailed report, the application was then again tabled until the March 24 Planning Commission meeting. Chairman Al Kappers requested city staff to contact interested parties to allow them to designate a lead speaker for their 5-minute time slot.

The report stated their recommendation to deny the demolition application was “due to the owner arguing for adopting a less than desirable reuse plan.”

Zoning inspector Robert Watson reported three options for the building and its site following nearly four months of the application being tabled. Watson said the building owner, Randy Kimmel, also is requesting more time to review options to “flush those out” before Planning Commission reviews the request again next month.

Watson said the first option was reported as the Troy Development Council attempting to purchase the building contingent upon estimates and its ability to secure financing. TDC was unable to obtain the financial commitment required. According to the report, cost estimates for the first floor renovations were $2 million above “stabilization costs.”

The second option was for Kimmel to obtain a loan from the city to fund basic structural repairs. The owner was unable to secure future first-floor tenants, which was needed to obtain the city loan.

The third option was to honor the demolition application with the parking lot reuse plan, as well as any alternate reuse plans “that may be more palatable.”

“It is staff’s opinion that razing the structure and not replacing it will leave an obvious gap in the streetscape,” the report stated.

Watson reported that the Planning Commission should require a “rescue plan” as well as require that new construction proposals should meet the architectural design standards of the historic district as a condition of demolition.

The report also stated the city staff received a letter indicating the property appears to qualify for nomination to the National Register of Historic Places from the State Historic Preservation Office as a “contributing resource.”

Previously, city staff found two out of four criteria were met for Planning Commission to consider demolition and recommended the request to tear down the building and use the land to create a parking lot. Planning Commission tabled the request to allow Wolpert Group to inspect the building. The city contracted the Wolpert Group for a cost not to exceed $10,000 for a structural engineer and building inspector for their professional services.

The three-story building with 17,500 square feet of space was once the site of the former Miami County courthouse (1841-1888) In the application, Kimmel states the tornado damage in January 2020 has rendered the building unsafe and will cost nearly $660,000 to renovate.

Before the application was tabled, more than 118 pages of materials were submitted to the commission from public feedback as well as a civil engineer’s written opinion.

Residents and other locals protested the building’s demolition last fall.