By Ed Ernstes (firstname.lastname@example.org)
7:06 PM EDT, September 18, 2012
ELKHART – It's taken more than three years, but Elkhart is finally in a position to demolish a vacant building on the city's north side.
The old Walter Piano building has been an eyesore for years.
It’s one thing to see the building crumbling from the outside and quite another to see what it looks like inside.
The roof caving is caving in in several areas, floors buckling, rain dripping in and insulation hanging from the ceilings.
“It is not only an eyesore, but it is a safety hazard from the roof caving in and the bricks falling off to the fire that was here recently, so for the safety of the residents of the community, it’s very important that we bring this building down,” said Elkhart Economic Development Director Barkley Garrett.
After three years of back and forth efforts and legal wrangling, the city has finally gained ownership of the entire building complex and has now set in motion the steps needed to bring it down and have it demolished and hopefully soon.
“Unfortunately, it has taken a lot of legal hoops to jump through to take possession of it,” Garrett said.
The city will head to Indianapolis on Wednesday to look into ways to finance the demolition. Working with a consultant, they hope to have specs for that within the next 45 days and then take bids for the work. Actual demolition could begin soon.
“I think we could begin this year,” said Brownfield Coordinator Denny Correll. “My hope is that we get it completely down on the ground by the first part of the next year, middle of January and then we have to do the remediation after the fact.”
Cindy Lindahl operates a business next door.
“We’ve very happy that progress has been made,” Lindahl said. “It’s been a big eyesore. We are an adjacent property owner. We have lived with it for a very, very long time, and we are happy that something will finally be down about it.”
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