Ben, left, and Danny Hefner of Ben’s Construction of Lima start the demolition process on the former Jim and Mary’s building in downtown Delphos on Friday. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
Ben, left, and Danny Hefner of Ben’s Construction of Lima start the demolition process on the former Jim and Mary’s building in downtown Delphos on Friday. (DHI Media/Nancy Spencer)
DELPHOS —Work has already begun to demolish the former Jim and Mary’s Bar at 335 N. Main St. in Delphos.

Ben and Danny Hefner of Ben’s Contruction, Lima, took down the 25-18-foot structure at the rear of the building along the Miami-Erie Canal on Friday.

“This will be a slow process,” Ben Hefner said. “We have to be really careful because of the shared walls with the business on each side.”

The Allen County Land Bank continues forward in its mission to help townships, villages, and cities eradicate blight within the county’s entire boundaries and has been working with Delphos city officials for two years with talks centered around the condition of the former Jim and Mary’s. The Allen County Land Bank was able to acquire the property when a foreclosure auction failed to bring any bids. The building has been condemned, and deemed unsafe for entry. A safety inspection by fire department officials combined with an engineering study paid for by the Allen County Land Bank have resulted in the conclusion the building must be demolished.

The Allen County Land Bank has contracted with Ben’s Construction to complete the demolition. Work will be slow at first, with de-construction by hand due to adjoined buildings. The demolition is expected to be completed within one week.

Upon completion of site demolition and finish fill grading, the Land Bank will deed the property over to the City of Delphos.

“Mayor Gillespie and his administration as well as the Delphos Fire Department and Delphos Police Department have truly been a pleasure to work with leading to the culmination of the demolition of this unsafe condemned building on Main Street,” said Allen County Land Bank Administrator and Allen County Auditor Rachael Gilroy.

Two blighted properties in the City of Delphos have already been demolished by the Allen County Land Bank and along with the Main Street building, another blighted property is being scheduled for demolition, bringing the total number of blighted properties addressed by the Land Bank in Delphos to four.

“I sincerely appreciate the collaborative efforts with Delphos City Officials, Ben’s Construction and Allen County Land Bank personnel to make a positive difference in such a great community as Delphos,” Gilroy said.

Safety Service Director Shane Coleman has announced that Main Street between Third and Fifth streets will be closed during demolition work on Monday and if needed, Tuesday. Local traffic is asked to avoid the area during this time. Through traffic on State Route 66 will be redirected to Franklin Street. Main Street will reopen as soon as possible.