Raze Stalsworth, review board says

Tiffin Architectural Board of Review voted in favor of the demolition of the Stalsworth Hotel and against the demolition of the former livery at its meeting Tuesday.

Tiffin Law Director Brent Howard said the area was a gateway to downtown.

“The city views this as a great opportunity,” Howard said. He said the area was a good location for economic development and the city have looked at alternatives to demolition.

“(The alternatives) are extremely, economically not feasible,” he said. “You’re not going to find someone that is willing to make the kind of investment that is really necessary to … put it into usable condition.”

He said the city was not concerned with gaining back the $120,000 spent on both buildings and would rather create a viable location for businesses that could bring jobs and services into the city.

With the involvement of the board, a new building could be built that would fit in with the downtown landscape better than the current buildings, he said. Before a business would purchase the property, it would have to go through several boards to get permission for construction. The Architectural Board of Review would have the opportunity to approve building designs to make sure the building matches the historical downtown landscape.

The city has Community Development Block Grant funds for demolition of the building, but it still would take several months to demolish the building. Howard said at current estimates, the city may have enough funds through the grant for demolition.

At this time, the city does not have a buyer for the property.

The vote was 3-1-1.

The board also discussed demolition of the old livery building behind the Stalsworth Hotel and considered the artifacts inside, including the elevator.

Howard said no businesses have approached the city about purchasing the building and that major renovation would be necessary inside of the livery.

The board considered the city’s ability to better market the building now that the Stalsworth Hotel is to be demolished.

“I think that this building has more opportunity,” said Theresa Sullivan. “There’s more flexibility.”

“It really hasn’t had a chance to market itself,” Tony Consolo said.

The board voted 1-3-1 against demolition.