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As they say, "out with the old and in with the new".
Newark Mayor Jeff Hall says his city is entering it's latest phase, "Re-Newark".
According to Development Director Mark Mauter, the building located at 20-22 N. 4th St. was formally used for upstairs apartments and street level retail. However, the vacant building, which suffered substantial damage and deterioration, was due for demolition.
"On the front side we've put up some fencing on the sidewalk a couple months ago because we thought some of the wall might be falling. Just a few bricks. We weren't in fear of the whole wall collapsing. But certainly that mortar erodes over the years with no maintenance," said Mayor Hall. "When water gets inside the building, there were literally ice-skating rinks up there this winter. And when you have the freezing and thawing like we had this severe winter, it moves bricks and moves things out of the way. So we are so happy to get this down".
ADR and Associates led the way in the deconstruction of the building privately owned by Manuel Vela. Project Manager Nicholas Mill was present, supervising the proceedings. Also among the crowd this afternoon was Bill Spurgeon, the Newark Director of Public Safety.
The CIC, or the the Community Improvement Corporation as well as the Newark Development Partners worked in cooperation with the Ohio Attorney General's office to fund the demolition. The Attorney Generals office provided a matching grant of $150,000 dollars. $75,000 was raised by the private sector that wanted the building gone, and another $75,000 was generated from properties sold by the city; making this project in total around $300,000 dollars.
"The goal is to get things going, get it back on track. We're the 20th largest city in Ohio by population. We have a great downtown area that needs revived from a commercial district. The North end, 21st street is rolling pretty good commercially. But we need to get those tax dollars to put back into the community to make it a better city to live, work and play," said Mayor Hall.
The city's primary reason for demolishing the building was for safety concerns, especially with the alley of the Chase Bank ATM near by. Development Director Mauter speculates the new space will be used for parking. That has yet to be confirmed.