April 16, 2014

Elyria
Sunny
40°F
test

Queens Court trailer park demolished

An excavator drags one of the mobile homes out of its spot for demolition Monday. The home was a pile of scrap in less than 5 minutes. The trailers on Kennedy and Queens courts off South Abbe Road in Elyria are being taken down as part of the land bank project. (CT photo by Bruce Bishop.)

ELYRIA — A vacant eyesore that was a mobile home park met the business end of an excavator Monday as crews battled the bitter cold to begin the lengthy demolition process of a trailer park on South Abbe Road.

Located behind Rally’s restaurant near state Route 57, the trailer park has sat empty since 2011, when the last remaining occupants were asked to leave because the water had been shut off to the property. Since then, city officials have tried in vain to have the property brought back into safety and health code compliance.

“With its proximity to Cleveland Street and 57, this property has been a major eyesore for the city,” said Kevin Brubaker, superintendent of services for the Building and Cemeteries Departments. “Really, it was trying to find the right opportunity to bring it down, and the county land bank became the perfect opportunity.”

The demolition of the trailer park was paid with money Lorain County collected from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, which received millions in a settlement with mortgage companies over the foreclosure crisis. Lorain County’s share, which includes matching funds from the Lorain County Port Authority, is more than $3 million.

Countywide, some 200 homes are to be razed with the money. Elyria officials hope at least 38 homes will come from within the city.

Still, the trailer park is the largest parcel to date to be cleared, and Mayor Holly Brinda said the location is perfect for redevelopment in the future.

“We hope to one day repurpose this property and make it vital to the community,” she said

Brubaker said the last known owner of the property was a bank from Geauga County. The county eventually filed a tax foreclosure on the property, and the property, a little more than 2 acres, is heading to the land bank, allowing elected officials to hold onto it until a better use is presented.

At one time, there were close to 30 trailers on the lot, and even Monday it looked like many families had just left the residences with whatever they could carry. Clothing, toys and fishing rods were crammed inside some of the units.

It will take several days for the contractor, Cherokee Demolition LLC of Burton, to clear the lot.

It will cost about $45,000 to demolish all of the trailers, level the ground and replace the sidewalks and curbs near the property. It may sound like a big task, but Monday crews tore through the structures with ease, turning them into a pile of construction debris within minutes.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com.