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Harrison Township demolishes condos three years after being destroyed by 2019 tornadoes

The condominiums along Shoup Mill Rd. in Harrison Twp.
Alejandro Figueroa
/
WYSO
The condominiums along Shoup Mill Rd. in Harrison Twp.

A strip of condos along Shoup Mill Road in Harrison Township are being demolished this week. That’s after they’ve been sitting abandoned after the 2019 tornadoes made them unsafe.

The five condos were built in 1975. After the tornadoes, the damaged and vacant properties became an eyesore and were being used for shelter by homeless people.

Georgeann Godsey, a Harrison township trustee, said the homeowners association had canceled the insurance on the buildings without any notice to owners.

The owners then looked to FEMA for some kind of assistance, though the government agency declared the buildings a multi-family structure and were not able to help them, according to Godsey.

Three years later, the township raised about $40,000 to tear them down from the Montgomery County Landbank, as well from the Ohio Department of Development.

Godsey said the demolition could bring more development opportunities to the area.

“When you see buildings that are in that sort of shape, it's a very negative factor for your community,” she said. “And while it's not new construction, it is certainly going to improve the general feeling about the community.”

The construction company has until the end of the month to finish demolishing the buildings.

The five owners of the condos still have ownership over the land. The cost of demolishing the buildings will be assessed against the property taxes on the buildings, according to Godsey.

Alejandro Figueroa is a corps member with Report for America, a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms.

Alejandro Figueroa covers food insecurity and the business of food for WYSO through Report for America — a national service program that places journalists into local newsrooms. Alejandro particularly covers the lack of access to healthy and affordable food in Southwest Ohio communities, and what local government and nonprofits are doing to address it. He also covers rural and urban farming