In an on-going effort to keep our downtown businesses, residents and visitors informed as to the latest status of the West Main Street closure, we are providing periodic updates until the Cherry Street to Plum Street block is opened back up to vehicles and pedestrians.
CURRENT STATUS AS OF ABOVE DATE
It has been 201 days (28 weeks and 5 days) since West Main Street between Plum and Cherry Streets was closed due to the grave concerns of collapse of the Tavern Building. The closure was due to the Miami County Chief Building Official’s (CBO) Adjudication Order and Affidavit of Compliance, as well as the CBO’s and Troy Fire Chief’s certification that the Tavern Building is unsafe and dangerous.
Since November 6th, the City has participated in mediation led by Miami Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Wall, which has involved four other parties to the case, including the (former) owner of the Tavern Building, the Miami County Chief Building Official (CBO), Evil Empire LLC, and the Troy Historical Preservation Alliance (THPA). That mediation culminated in a comprehensive global Settlement Agreement, which was filed on December 26, 2023 and which can be found at www.troyohio.gov/DocumentCenter/View/7695/Tavern-Settlement-Agreement.
The City has received many questions about the terms of the settlement. The following is a summary of the Agreement and where the street closure stands:
- The THPA has purchased the property, paying the now-former owner full asking price of $485,000;
- All pending court complaints, motions, etc. have been released, dismissed, and discharged;
- The Tavern Building consists of two portions: the 3-story Main Street-facing 1902 section (1902) and the rear 2 ½-story 1841 section (1841). The CBO generated a list of 24 known structural defects that would be required to be repaired or replaced before his demolition order would be lifted. Any additional defects uncovered during repair or replacement work do not change any of the deadlines put in place by the Agreement (outlined below) and must also be completed before the Adjudication Order would be lifted;
- The THPA must comply with several deadlines, all of which are designed to open West Main Street as soon as possible. The key deadline is April 30, 2024. Any portion of the building that has not been stabilized to the satisfaction of the CBO by that date shall be demolished by THPA no later than May 30th. If the THPA fails to demolish any unstabilized portion of the building, the City has the right to demolish that portion and assess the costs to the property.
- Other key 2024 deadlines include:
- No later than January 31st, the THPA must submit to Miami County architect-stamped drawings for all 24 defects, with reviews by the County and City to be completed within 10 working days of submittal and work commencing within 10 days after permits are approved;
- No later than March 1st, the THPA must inform the City and County as to whether it intends to stabilize 1841. If so, the THPA must demonstrate its financial ability to complete that work and must begin that work on or before March 1st;
- If the THPA declines to stabilize 1841, it must be demolished no later than by March 31st. If the THPA fails to do so by that date, the City has the right to demolish 1841 and assess the costs to the property;
Other questions asked of the City since the Settlement Agreement include:
1. Why did the Agreement take seven weeks to negotiate? Mediations typically consist of small group efforts by the Judge (or a third-party mediator) to discuss issues, find common ground, and reach compromise. With five different parties to the litigation, eight different lawyers, and an otherwise full Common Pleas Court docket, it was necessary to meet on five separate occasions to work out final details.
2. If the THPA paid full price to the former property owner in December 2023, why didn’t they purchase it in 2020 or 2021 before the street closing, lawsuits, and the many expenses by the taxpayers and other parties? The City was not privy to the detailed discussions by and between the THPA and their donors. It would be speculation as to the reasons or even whether the same options may have been available in the past.
3. What happens to the court cases? As stated earlier, part of the Settlement Agreement includes releasing all claims, dismissing all property maintenance and other charges, and discharging the outstanding motions and other court actions in Common Pleas Court, as well as District 2 Appeals Court. Common Pleas Court Judge Stacy Wall will retain jurisdiction over the Settlement Agreement until its terms are satisfied.
4. Will West Main Street be reopened in time for the Troy Strawberry Festival on June 1st and 2nd? The City will continue to respect the deadlines and monitor the performance requirements of the Settlement Agreement to ensure West Main Street reopens as quickly as possible. However, if the April 30th deadline is not met, it may be difficult to commit to a reopening prior to the Festival. The City remains committed to removing the fence as soon as the CBO Adjudication Order is lifted.
5. What will happen to the property after May 30th? The City’s overriding goal throughout has been to see that the Tavern Building is returned to a viable, occupied and productive part of our downtown. We anticipate working with the property owner to create a positive economic development project as soon as possible.
Please contact the City of Troy at (937) 335-1725 or visit our social media and website with any questions or concerns. Updates from the City regarding the West Main Street closure will also be posted on our social media and City website as necessary.