Demolition on a portion of the former Ledger-Enquirer complex has prompted the closure of 12th Street between Broadway and Front Avenue starting Wednesday morning, the city said Monday.
The street will be closed from 8 a.m. Wednesday through 5 p.m. June 16 as crews from D.H. Griffin Co. work to tear down the six-story office tower known as the Page Building at the corner of Broadway and 12th Street.
“The closure has been requested to allow a contractor to demolish the old Ledger-Enquirer building without fear of debris falling onto passing vehicles,” Teasha Johnson, interim assistant to the city manager, said via email. “Signs for the detour route will remain in place throughout the entire closure.”
D.H. Griffin’s heavy equipment has been chomping away at the old newspaper production and warehouse areas since early April, with workers turning their attention to former office space in May, including the front lobby. After starting work on a portion of the 44-year-old tower a week ago, crews stopped quickly and sought permission for the road closure. The company also wants to extend the project fence on Broadway, narrowing the southbound lane adjacent to the construction site.
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Columbus State University’s real-estate entity, Foundation Properties, purchased the Ledger-Enquirer buildings late last year, paying $3.4 million, to make way for its College of Education and Health Professions. The approximately $25 million project will relocate the college from CSU’s main campus farther east in the city.
The Ledger-Enquirer has relocated its staff to the Hardaway Building a couple of blocks south of the newspaper’s old home, across from the RiverCenter for the Performing Arts. A portion of the Ledger-Enquirer’s old property, the Mediteranean-style building that housed the company’s news, advertising, circulation and finance staff, is being renovated for use by CSU staffers.
The construction schedule calls for site preparation following demolition to begin by the end of June, with work proceeding until the CSU’s new office and classroom buildings are completed in time for classes in the fall of 2016. Brasfield & Gorrie is the general contractor.
The city urges motorists in the vicinity of the construction zone to “proceed with caution” as the office tower is taken to the ground.