Asbestos, flooding hold up Clarion Hotel demolition

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - The former Clarion Hotel on Reynolds Road has been abandoned since 2009. Demolition began in July, but crews encountered problems that have kept the building standing longer than intended.

The area has been fenced off for weeks, and residents in the area are starting to wonder why the former hotel, considered an eyesore, is still there.

"It seems about time for them to get rid of it," said Devin Herring.

Asbestos was found in the building, which had to be removed. That took until mid-August. Then contractors discovered flooding in the basement. The floodwaters may have come into contact with pool chemicals and boiler chemicals that were stored there, so the contaminated water must be properly removed before demolition can begin.

"You can't take a load of construction and demolition debris material to any of the landfills if there's any hazardous or toxic materials in that load," explained Bill Burkett, Toledo commissioner of economic development.

Although Herring wants to see the building gone, he agrees with the city's delay.

"It could spread. It could get into the ground or it could get into the water, whatever, and it could hurt people," he said.

The water is expected to be removed this week and the city hopes demolition will finally begin next week. Burkett says they won't use dynamite in the process.

"It will be a conventional demolition, but they will start with the upper floors," he said.

Demolition of the 11-story building should take 4-6 weeks. The city will then clear the debris and get it ready for another development. Officials say several companies have expressed interest in the site.

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