Daily Journal Masthead

Franklin building to get new life as apartments

Follow Daily Journal:

A former assisted-living facility in Franklin that has mold throughout the building will either be torn down by the city or renovated by a local developer.

In June, the city issued an order to demolish or repair the former Angel Care building at 1107 N. Main St., which has been vacant for at least five years, Franklin Planning Department code enforcement officer Rhoni Oliver said.

The roof of the building and pipes inside the building are leaking, and mold covers the first floor walls, making it dangerous to the public unless it is fixed or torn down, Oliver said.

A Franklin resident has an idea to turn the building into an apartment complex. The city will allow him to pursue the idea but will tear the building down if construction hasn’t started by early next year.

At a glance

Future of former assisted living facility

Location: 1107 N. Main St.

When it was built: 1950

Former use: Angel Care nursing home

When it was closed: At least five years ago

Damage: Mold on the inside of the building; leaking roof and pipes; broken furniture, doors and windows.

What’s happening now: Franklin has issued an order to demolish or repair the building because it is unsafe to the public. The city has agreed to not demolish the building while a local developer makes progress on renovating it.

The building has been vandalized multiple times, including an incident two years ago when someone broke into the building, smashed furniture and kicked holes in the walls, Oliver said.

Since issuing the demolition order, city officials have conducted at least four unsafe building hearings to decide what to do with the building, which is owned by a Colorado company. The company bought the building earlier this year in a tax sale and has decided to sell the building instead of repairing it, Oliver said.

If the building is not repaired, Oliver said she recommends tearing it down, which would cost $85,000 of the city’s unsafe building fund.

The city could get that money back by placing a tax lien on the property, which would have to be paid during a future sale, Oliver said, but the money is not guaranteed.

The Franklin Redevelopment Commission has also discussed buying and redeveloping the property after the building is torn down, Oliver said.

However, the redevelopment commission and city officials put discussions of demolishing the building on hold when a local developer asked to renovate the building.

Earlier this month, Franklin resident Dennis Anderson told the city he has a plan to turn the building into an apartment complex.

Anderson does not own the building but had received permission from the building’s owners to present his plans to the zoning board, Oliver said.

Kim Van Valer, the city’s unsafe building hearing officer, and city planning officials have agreed to let Anderson move forward with his plans, but Oliver said she will recommend the city demolish the building if Anderson does not start construction on it by early next year.

“If something doesn’t start to happen physically in 2013, I will recommend to demolish the property,” Oliver said.

Van Valer makes the final decision on whether a building is demolished, Oliver said.

Anderson’s plans include gutting the building, repairing the roof and building 18 to 20 single-bedroom, upscale apartments along with a laundry and fitness area, according to the plan he submitted to the board.

His plans also include removing a handicapped ramp on the north side of the building and replacing it with an outdoor elevator, according to his submitted plan.

Anderson declined to discuss details of the project at this time. He also owns Franklin North Village apartments.

After his presentation, the zoning board said Anderson could build the apartments as long as he creates enough parking spaces for the residents who will live there. He may have to cut the number of apartments back to 14 in order to be able to provide enough parking spots, associate city planner Kevin Tolloty said.

Oliver said she had driven by the building many times in the four years she’s worked for the city but never knew how unsafe it was until she went inside earlier this year when the building was for sale.

The building’s previous owners, a company from New Jersey, had not paid their taxes, and the county put it up for tax sale, Oliver said.

In the tax sale, Anderson bought the garage that is on the building’s property, Oliver said. The city has ordered that the garage be demolished because a fire in the building destroyed most of it, Oliver said.

The property also has an outbuilding that Anderson plans to tear down, according to his submitted plan.

Oliver said she is unsure how much Anderson will have to pay to fix the building, but allowing him to renovate it will benefit the city.

“All I care about is someone makes it either gone or habitable,” Oliver said.

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All content copyright ©2016 Daily Journal, a publication of AIM Media Indiana unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.