- Associated Press - Sunday, April 13, 2014

GARY, Ind. (AP) - Gary officials say city residents soon will see the first outward signs of the demolition of a 12-story hotel that once was a symbol of a northwestern Indiana city’s hopes for turnaround but instead became a constant reminder of its troubles.

Asbestos removal from the interior of the Sheraton Hotel will be completed by the end of this week and workers then will begin asbestos remediation on the exterior, Joseph Van Dyk, director of the city’s redevelopment department, told The (Munster) Times (https://bit.ly/1jCx8Hx ).

The exterior asbestos remediation could be completed by June, and then the building will be demolished from the top down, possibly by October, Van Dyk said.

“Really, floor-by-floor demolition is the only way we could do it,” Van Dyk said. “Implosion or a wrecking ball would be too dangerous.”

The hotel has sat vacant for nearly 30 years next to City Hall, and Mayor Karen Freeman-Wilson made a campaign promise to tear it down. She has said the sight of the tallest building downtown sitting empty sent a poor message to people passing by on the Indiana Toll Road, especially because, on some floors, people can see through to the other side.

“The mayor has done a lot for the city, but it’s hard for citizens to grasp the things they’re doing behind the scenes,” Van Dyk said. “Removing such a large blight from the downtown area, we can start positioning ourselves for redevelopment.”

The building opened as a Holiday Inn in 1971 and closed after four years. It reopened in 1979 as the Sheraton Hotel and closed again in 1985.

The demolition will cost $1.8 million. Funding comes from an Environmental Protection Agency brownfield revolving loan fund, a neighborhood stabilization grant, the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority and money from the city’s green urbanism program.

Brenda Scott-Henry, the director of the Department of Green Urbanism and Environmental Affairs, said the city will install green infrastructure at the hotel site.

“It will be something that is natural, and it complements our area. It could be installed to manage storm water, or dealing with impervious surfaces, it could be a rain garden,” Scott-Henry said.

“The most important part is it will be something tangible, and the community will have input into what the green infrastructure will look like.”

___

Information from: The Times, https://www.thetimesonline.com


Copyright © 2018 The Washington Times, LLC.

The Washington Times Comment Policy

The Washington Times welcomes your comments on Spot.im, our third-party provider. Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.

 

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide