Tuesday, April 9, 2013 at 5:20 PM
Demolition began today on two downtown Cleveland office buildings to make way for a new Cuyahoga County administration headquarters. Ideastream’s Brian Bull was there and has this report.
The former P&H buildings at 9th and Prospect are part of the Ameritrust complex the county purchased back in 2005, intending to make the 29-story Ameritrust tower the new headquarters.
The property was never put into use.
County Executive Ed FitzGerald announced its sale to the Geis Companies early this year. Part of the agreement was that Geis would tear down the P&H buildings, and in their place build and lease back to the county its new headquarters.
As an excavator stood at the ready, Fitzgerald gave a few remarks from the roof of a parking garage across the street. He said this wasn’t about simply smashing apart an old, crumbling building, but about moving on from darker elements of Cleveland’s past.
“We wanted to take this whole complex, this whole Ameritrust Complex, which had been the source of scandal, and disappointment, and missed opportunities, and we wanted to turn it into something that the county could really be proud of.”
After a few more words, Fitzgerald moved to the ledge and, with the blast of an air horn, signaled Geis Construction crews to begin tearing down the complex.
The new county headquarters is expected to be finished by July 2014.
More than 700 county workers are expected to inhabit the space, which city planners hope will help revive struggling areas in downtown Cleveland.
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