December 20, 2014

Elyria
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Demolition begins for former Kush building

The demolition of the building that the Kush Store occupied began on Friday. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

The demolition of the building that the Kush Store occupied began on Friday. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

ELYRIA — A boarded-up building on Broad Street is on its way to being no more.

On Friday afternoon, an excavator ripped through 306 Broad St., formerly the home of Kush, the establishment known to sell the illegal synthetic drug known as “bath salts” before the Elyria Police Department shut it down in 2013.

Kush has been boarded up since last February when an inspection on the day of the raid found unsanitary conditions in the store and the apartments above. The city’s Building Department condemned the building.

While in recent years it was home to Kush, the building was once known to Elyrians as Eddie’s Cigar Store. It has been almost a decade since that landmark store closed, but the memories remain of the Broad Street establishment.

The building was originally going to come down in late December, but asbestos abatement lasted longer than expected, said Kevin Brubaker, a senior official in the Building Department.

Lorain County Neighborhood Stabilization Program funds are paying for the demolition in collaboration with the city of Elyria. Dennis Concrete won the bid through the county and began ripping through the building shortly after 2:30 p.m. Friday.

It will be cleared and seeded with grass similar to what was done to the old Elyria City Hall property. However, the Lorain County Land Bank will place a lien on the property to recover the cost of the demolition.

So far, there are no plans for the land. Mayor Holly Brinda has said the city would like to see its attractive, downtown real estate incorporate a mixed-use redevelopment strategy.

Creating such a plan is being handled with a grant through the Northeast Ohio Areawide Coordinating Agency. The study will look at the city’s business district to determine the best way to coordinate transportation infrastructure projects to drive economic development to key areas, including downtown, Midway Mall and Cleveland Street business districts.

Contact Lisa Roberson at 329-7121 or lroberson@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @LisaRobersonCT.