October 17, 2012Contact:
Dan Williamson, Mayor’s Office, 645-5300
Cynthia Rickman, Development, 645-8795
John Ivanic, City Council, 645-6798
Lillian Williams-Purkey, Franklin County, 525-3379
Demolition work began today on a 10-story building on the Near East Side that has been blighted and vacant for more than seven years. Mayor Michael B. Coleman was joined by Councilmember Zach M. Klein, Franklin County Treasurer Ed Leonard, Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and neighborhood leaders as destruction started of the 101 condominium units known as Poindexter Tower located at 1253 Mt. Vernon Ave.
“As this monument to blight comes down, we see signs of hope spring up all around it,” Mayor Coleman said. “From the Lincoln Theater to University Hospital East, this neighborhood is on the rebound.”
The 101 units were acquired through a joint effort between the City of Columbus and Treasurer Leonard Office. The order to demolish was granted late last year by the Environmental Section of the Franklin County Municipal Court. The total cost for the demolition and asbestos abatement is about $1 million. The city is demolishing the structure and will be reimbursed for half of the cost through federal mortgage settlement funds from Franklin County Treasurer Leonard and Attorney General DeWine.
“This abandoned property was once a source of pride for residents, providing quality housing in this neighborhood,” said Councilmember Zach M. Klein, chair of Development Committee. “It is important to see the collaboration between many different levels of government to help return this site to a productive use for the community.”
All but three of the units are owned by the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation, a nonprofit organization that runs the Franklin County Land Bank program. For more than two years, Mayor Coleman worked with City Attorney Rick Pfieffer and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien to gain control of the building to allow this demolition to happen.
“This has been an ongoing effort to protect property values and making our neighborhoods safer by eliminating and redeveloping abandoned and delinquent properties,” Treasurer Leonard said. “I am proud that after spearheading this effort and bringing together the resources needed to take action to resolve all of the legal, financial and environmental matters, we are finally in position to remove this long standing scar on this emerging neighborhood.”
Demolition of the building is expected to take up to three weeks.
“Across Ohio, communities like the City of Columbus and Franklin County have begun to remove blight caused by the foreclosure crisis,” Attorney General DeWine said. “I am pleased the Ohio Attorney General’s Demolition Grants could help in the demolition today of the former Poindexter Tower complex.”