LIMA — By the end of the day Monday The Royal Inn will be little more than a memory.
And not a particularly pleasant memory, at that.
Following a mandatory 10-day waiting period following the awarding of a demolition permit by the city Lima — during which officials from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency checked for asbestos and other hazardous materials (and found none) at the site — crews on Saturday began to disassemble the former motel near downtown Lima that city officials had deemed a public nuisance. Work continued on Sunday.
The razing of the one-time motel at 418 W. Market St. was part of an agreement reached last month between Rashmikant Patel, the owner of the structure, and the city of Lima.
The city in its lawsuit filed in Allen County Common Pleas Court alleged the motel constitutes a public nuisance under both Ohio law and city ordinances and asked the court to order Patel to bring the building up to code or raze it.
Patel chose the latter option and agreed the structure would be demolished by the end of 2018.
In a judgment entry filed with by the local court on Oct. 23, Patel “acknowledges and admits” that the former motel constitutes a nuisance as described in the Ohio Revised Code and “agrees that demolition of the premises is appropriate and necessary to eliminate the nuisance.”
Shawn Sheth, owner of S & S Construction of Jamestown, was at the motel site Sunday with three members of his crew. One worker was operating a a piece of heavy equipment that was ripping away the exterior of the structure; two other men were cutting scrap metal into manageable pieces. Sheth said a larger piece of excavating equipment was on its way to the site to allow demo of the roof to get underway. Scrap metal was piling up on the parking lot of the former motel.
“The scrap metal will be gone by the end of the day on Monday, all except the large beams. They’ll be left until last,” said Sheth. And while the site was to be completely barren by year’s end, Sheth said city officials have agreed to a reasonable grace period in which to have wood and other demo materials hauled away.
Sheth said he crews began removing some items several weeks ago, including two loads of mattresses from the motel rooms that were taken to a local incinerator for disposal.
“They were nasty,” he said.
City officials had estimated the cost of demolition be be approximately $100,000. Sheth did not divulge a more precise figure, but said the cost to clean up the site will be “less than that.”
The city’s lawsuit against Patel followed on the heels of an incident in April when a section of steel roof on the building was ripped off by high winds. A joint-inspection of the premises with the state fire marshal followed and turned up 11 fire code and nine property violations during the walk-through. The building was declared unsafe and all occupants were ordered to evacuate within three days.
The lawsuit also alleged the Royal Inn was a hub for criminal activities. The Lima Police Department has logged 452 calls for service at the premises since January 2016. The Lima Fire Department responded to 60 emergency calls in the same time frame.
According to the Allen County Auditor’s website, the Royal Inn was built in 1964. The property was appraised at $370,300 in 2015.