The Woodville Mall in Northwood has been officially closed since 2012. Now the city is suing the owners to get them to comply with regulations.
The building has suffered a series of structural problems, including leaks, a collapsed roof, and mold. The city is asking the owners to clean the building up to comply with state, county and local fire and zoning codes, or tear it down.
Northwood City Administrator Bob Anderson said the new owner, Ohio Plaza Shopping Center, LLC., has been cooperative so far in response to the lawsuit. He also said the city is interested in working with the owner to come up with a resolution.
"I think that our city council along with the mayor is committed to trying to address the problem of our vacant store fronts," Anderson said. "But it's more than that. We're trying to bring prosperity back to Northwood."
The city has tried to come up with a solution with past owners, but no action was ever taken.
Residents attended a council meeting to express their own frustrations with the mall still standing.
"When we get strong westerly winds, the actual roof of the building blows off across the mall, across the streets, and into our subdivision," said resident Dan Mikolagczyk.
A representative for Ohio Plaza Shopping Center, LLC. said they want to bring change to the mall, and they are currently working on cleaning the building. Once that's done, however, she said they are planning to tear it down and rebuild.
"We're open to ideas for redevelopment," said representative Juanita Jones. "We've got to move forward. Let's take down, let's rebuild, let's bring this city back."
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