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Medina condemns Farmers Exchange building

  • 21057134

    The Medina Farmers Exchange has been condemned by the city of Medina.

    BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE

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The Medina Farmers Exchange has been condemned by the city of Medina.

The building at 320 S. Court St., constructed around the turn of the century, has “fallen into a state of disrepair due to many years of neglect and a lack of routine maintenance,” according to the city’s chief building official, Dan Gladish, on July 29.

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The Medina Farmers Exchange has been condemned by the city of Medina.

BOB FINNAN / GAZETTE Enlarge

He said he personally delivered the condemn notice to Farmers Exchange owner Jim Duffy prior to the building being vacated and the pink condemned notice being posted on the front door.

Duffy, reached by phone Tuesday, said there’s another side to the story.

“It’s going to be redeveloped,” he said. “There’s a sale in place right now. There are some significant things going on. Most people don’t realize that.”

Duffy said he couldn’t elaborate further.

Gladish said he’s heard much talk about redevelopment at the site, but now it’s up to Duffy to carry through with it.

His report was based on several inspections to the interior and exterior.

He said he made “every attempt possible” to reach compliance with Duffy, including several phone calls, onsite visits and meetings that included a general contractor.

Gladish said he was told by Duffy that two engineering firms evaluated the structure and would provide reports. He said those reports never came.

“The building was in such a state of disrepair,” he said. “I had to move forward. If not, it would be a liability and a risk.”

Condemning a building doesn’t mean it’s going to be torn down.

“It’s just not fit for occupancy,” Gladish said. “The goal is not to shut down a business. To condemn a building is our last resort. The last thing we want to do is shut down a business. Duffy understands. We did everything we could to prevent any kind of negativity.

“He knew this day was coming.”

Gladish said once a dilapidated building is condemned, the property can’t be inhabited until the owner proves that violations have been corrected. The first order of business would be to repair the roof.

“There are many, many violations,” he said. “There is some major work to be done.”

Gladish said it’s his job to “insure safe, sanitary and maintained structures for the health, safety, welfare and betterment of the community.”

He said in his 10 years in the business — he formerly worked in the city of Brunswick — he’s condemned about five structures.

Farmers Exchange’s Facebook page said it’s temporarily closed for renovations. It sells farm, pet, home and garden supplies.

Farmers Exchange has been on South Court Street since 1904. The building burned down twice — the first time in 1905 and again in 1935 — and was rebuilt both times. Some of the metal structures from the building’s mill operations in the 1930s have been preserved.

Contact reporter Bob Finnan at (330) 721-4049 or rfinnan@medina-gazette.com.



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