LIMA — Thanks to the demolition of the former Jim and Mary’s, downtown Delphos may be building up momentum to get rid of a few more eyesores plaguing North Main Street.
Throughout this week, curious Delphos residents will get to watch the 98-year-old brick former bar be ripped apart by hand and crane and reduced to a single gravel-covered lot, which will then be gifted from the Allen County Land Bank to the City of Delphos.
The project, however, is just one of many that Delphos Mayor Josh Gillespie has in mind for downtown Delphos. He’s currently working on two potential plans for the 300 block of North Main – transformation of a portion of the block into a green space or renovation of the downtown buildings.
“It’s going to be one or the other by the end of the next year. I can guarantee that,” Gillespie said.
As for Jim and Mary’s, the land bank undertook the $35,000 project earlier this year. After conducting an engineering study and acquiring the land, the final step began this Monday when construction workers began slowly disassembling the building, sometimes brick by brick, in order to protect the adjoining walls from damage.
Prior to its time as a condemned building, Jim and Mary’s was a landmark bar in downtown Delphos. Decades later, the building is now a hazard with floors soft from years of rot.
“We’re pretty excited. It’s been a long time coming,” the city’s safety services director, Shane Coleman, said about the demolition.
Land Bank Administrator Rachael Gilroy said the land bank tried to acquire the two properties directly south of the to-be demolished building, but they were unsuccessful.
Unlike other land banks in the area, the Allen County Land Bank is refocusing its mission to demolish or transfer blighted commercial buildings now that its federal funding intended for residential demolitions is starting to run dry. Gilroy said the $35,000 spent on the Jim and Mary’s demolition came from selling some of its obtained properties.
Reach Josh Ellerbrock at 567-242-0398.