Judge orders mall's demolition PDF Print E-mail
Written by PETER KUEBECK Sentinel Staff Writer   
Friday, 09 August 2013 09:18
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Weeds grow in the parking lot of the former Woodville Mall. (Photos: J.D. Pooley/Sentinel-Tribune)
The long saga of the Woodville Mall will be coming to an end.
A judgment in a lawsuit against the site's owners has declared the mall a nuisance and ordered its demolition.
The judgment was handed down by Wood County Judge Reeve Kelsey Thursday afternoon.
The bulk of the mall has been closed since February of 2012; a standalone Andersons store closed earlier this year. A Sears store that operates as an independent entity remains open and is not effected by the judgment.
The lawsuit, filed in January by the City of Northwood, asked the court, among other items, "to order Defendants to abate the nuisance at the Woodville Mall" and "authorize a construction expert, employed by Northwood, to enter the Woodville Mall for purposes of preparing a construction plan and financial plan for the abatement of the nuisance and/or removal of any and all Woodville Mall building(s) at issue."
Defendants in the case include the site's former owner, Woodville Mall Realty Management LLC, and its officer, Mehran Kohansieh, Little Neck, N.Y.; current owner Ohio Plaza Shopping Center LLC and its officer, Soleyman Ghalchi, Great Neck, N.Y.; Woodville LLC, and "John Does" the suit says "may have or claim to have a current and/or future interest in the Woodville Mall and/or the matters alleged herein."
A hearing was scheduled in Kelsey's court for Thursday afternoon, but the parties reportedly met off the record, and the judgment was subsequently issued.
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According to the judgment, Woodville Mall Realty Management and Ohio Plaza Shopping Center are to "abate this nuisance... by removal of all structures including cement slab, asphalt, building materials and debris" according to a schedule set by the court.
Fencing around the property is to go up prior to Sept. 3, and abatement plans are to be submitted to the City of Northwood's Engineer before Sept. 30. Demolition is to be completed by May 2. Care was taken in the judgment to ensure that the Sears store would not suffer adverse effects from the demolition, including the order that no demolition or other work which might harm the business is to take place between Nov. 15 and Jan. 15.
The City of Northwood was also awarded nearly $1.7 million from Ohio Plaza and Woodville Mall Realty, and an additional $750,000 from Woodville LLC.
The more than 90-acre mall site was permanently closed in 2012 as the result of an injunction sought by Northwood and the Wood County Combined General Health District.
At that time, a complaint against Woodville Mall Realty Management LLC alleged "serious hazards" at the site, including large holes in the roof, numerous leaks and standing water, mold, mildew, non-functioning fire sprinklers, no heat, and buckling floors.
The document said the site "creates a dangerous and imminent safety risk to all patrons and tenants of the Woodville Mall."
Since the mall's closure, Northwood Police have been called to the site numerous times regarding vandalism issues.
The site was owned by Woodville Mall Realty from October 2009, to December 2012, when they sold the property to Ohio Plaza for $800,000. The company is located in Glen Cove, N.Y., according to the Wood County Auditor's Office.
 

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