United Way demolition approvedWritten by Kristen Criswell | | email@example.com
United Way of Greater Toledo crossed its final hurdle in the demolition of its former headquarters.
Toledo City Council voted 10-1 on April 27 to allow United Way to proceed with its demolition plans, with Joe McNamara casting the only no vote. Councilwoman Lindsay Webb, who recently had a baby, was not in attendance.
“It means we get to move forward with the project. We’re anxious to get moving with our plan,” said Bill Kitson, United Way of Greater Toledo’s president and CEO. “I understand that there are people who are sad about the building going, but [the demolition] is in the best interest of United Way and the community.”
United Way estimated a cost of $200,000 a year to keep the vacant headquarters on the lot, while the entire demolition cost is $400,000. By tearing down the building, money can be put back into community services, Kitson said.
Habitat for Humanity will begin the deconstruction process to reuse as much of the building as possible, Kitson said. Habitat will take doors, doorknobs and toilet fixtures to be used in later projects, he said.
In the next few weeks, the building will undergo asbestos abatement before its scheduled demolition in June. If everything stays on schedule by the end of July, work will begin to convert the vacant lot into a park, Kitson said.
Rudolph|Libbe is general contractor for the project and D&R Demolition & Removal will knock down the building.
Demolition for the former headquarters was first filed Feb 11.
The city council vote followed an appeal to the Toledo Plan Commission’s 3-2 vote March 11. Fred Kutz appealed the decision on March 22 and council was required to vote on the appeal within 45 days.
The demolition of United Way’s former headquarters has been publicly debated for more than two years, but talks of what to do with the building have gone on for much longer, Kitson said. Before building its new facility, United Way involved the Stranahan family, who funded the original building and gave their blessing for the new one.
United Way self-funded the new building, which accounts for about 75 percent of a projected $6.5 million building budget that includes the demolition of the old structure and conversion of the surrounding property to a park setting. Toledo-based firms Collaborative Inc. and SSOE Inc. designed the new “green” headquarters, and construction has been awarded to Rudolph|Libbe and 25 other local subcontractors.
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