408 apartments at former Lincoln Park West complex set for demolition

on Monday, 03 February 2014.

COCIC and the Ohio Attorney General’s office to fund the $2 million demolition

Prairie Township and a Franklin County nonprofit redevelopment entity have joined forces to knock down 408 apartment units within the former Lincoln Park West complex near the Hollywood Casino and shuttered Westland Mall.

Prairie Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker told me 17 apartment buildings with 24 units each will get demolished in the garden-style, 2½-story “California” section of the complex, now called Metro West.

The complex off Georgesville Road south of West Broad Street, known 30 years ago as Shannon Way, sold in 2003 for $13.65 million to New York-based Matrix Realty Group Inc.

The complex gained notoriety in September 2004 when 10 people died in a fire there.

All the properties set for demolition are vacant, Hatmaker said.

“We started getting aggressive (on building code issues) about six years ago when we put a building department in place,” Hatmaker told me.

The buildings, while vacant, do get broken into through holes made by those seeking shelter and others seeking copper and other building materials to scrap.

“We ratcheted it up,” he added. “Finally last year, the fire department and building department threw their hands up.”

The township, Hatmaker said, signed a written agreement with the landlord in late October calling for the owner to begin demolition of the buildings in December. That demolition, he said, has not taken place.

So the township has asked the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corp. and the Ohio Attorney General’s office to fund the estimated $2 million demolition, which could begin in two weeks. The COCIC, Hatmaker said, will coordinate the actual demolition.

The township also hopes getting rid of the vacant structures helps redevelop nearby commercial areas.

Demolition of the units, Hatmaker said, “removes a barrier for redevelopment in the area.”

Brian R. Ball covers commercial real estate and development for Columbus Business First. http://www.bizjournals.com/columbus/blog/2014/01/204-apartments-at-former-lincoln-park.html?page=all