|Main Street wall improvement means Subway that much closer|
Posting Date: 02/01/2012
Downtown North Baltimore is getting another boost from a local Downtown NB property owner, who has invested a "large chunk of change", to fix a wall that was damaged, when a neighboring structure was razed by local governments.
The first step is putting up furring strips. You can see that the years of exposure must have let much water into the interior. So much so, that new flooring is necessary.
This investment is paving the way for another new eatery in NB, as a Subway contractor will begin the major rehab of the interior, within a month, if things go according to plan.
"According to plan", is not how things have worked out for Gary Luken, who owns the wall in question at 113 North Main (the building where NBXpress signs hang), as well as several storefront/apartments in the Downtown NB Business District, on both sides of the tracks. Luken is also the owner of the Gerdeman Insurance Agency on North Main Street.
The metal siding goes up in some long 16 foot strips.
It's a long story that frustrates Luken everytime he thinks about it or talks about it. Basically it goes like this: when the former Gonzales building (Davis Hardware) was condemned by The State of Ohio and Wood County and money was given to the Village of North Baltimore to raze the structure, Luken says, he was assured that his wall would be "repaired" after the building came down.
Luken says that later, when he approached the village about the repairs, he was told that there would not be any help for repairing the wall. Over time, damage to the wall and the interior of the building was caused by exposure to the outside, as the building next door was gone!
Not quite done, until the windows are installed.
Now, his frustration stems from having to pay for repairs to the building, that he had nothing to do with the causing. He feels that the Village of North Baltimore has let him down.
But, now, the work is done and Luken has made another big investment in Downtown NB, as have many other "unsung" business and property owners over the years.
Is there any hope for Luken to get that help that he was promised? Gary doesn't think so, he simply says, "it's not like you can sue the government into doing the right thing, can you?!"
Also, the parking lot that is scheduled for constuction on the empty lot to the south, next to this wall, is on hold for the time being. According to Rob Laurent, at the Whistle Stop Inn, owners of the land, work will not start until after all water, sewer, drainage and other utility related issues are dealt with, including the future possible effects of the Downtown North Baltimore Streetscape Easement Improvements Plan being considered.
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