Scores of people watched in person last month a two-story building that was once part of a CSX train depot move some 1,000-plus feet north to the corner of Maple Avenue and on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in Hamilton.
Today, those who didn’t get a chance to watch in person the Dec. 20 relocation of the two-story building have another chance. The second of the two buildings ― this time the one-story building ― started moving at 9 a.m. to make the same journey up MLK Jr. Boulevard, “unless something unknown happens at the moment,” said City Engineer Rich Engle.
Wolfe House & Building Movers put the single-story building on wheels last Wednesday in preparation for its move next week.
Engle said last month’s move was “very successful,” as he spoke with officials with the moving company. “I talked to them that afternoon, and they were pleased with how it went.”
WATCH THE MOVE LIVE, COURTESY OF TVHAMILTON:
The moving company was able to calculate the approximate weight of the two-story building, which is approximately 220 tons.
There’s still some work that’s needed to be completed as masons are installing concrete blocks to build up the base from the existing concrete structure. Engle said after they get the wall set, mortar needs to cure for at least 28 days before the immediate load of the building is brought down. The city will wait a full 30 days before it’s brought down.
“We have to make sure it’s completely cured and set,” he said.
The city has worked for a couple of years to make the relocation of the two buildings happen. The city had eyes to save the former train depot since 2020 when Hamilton officials heard CSX wanted to demolish the historic structure that was once a stop for several U.S. presidents, including Harry Truman, Dwight Eisenhower, and both Roosevelts.
After negotiations with CSX and debate among City Council members on a budget of no more than $2 million, the relocation of the two buildings is nearly complete.
Once the structures are moved onto the new foundations, the buildings will be put into a “white box” condition where a restaurant, bar, or some other business could complete business-specific interior upgrades and occupy it.
Mallory Greenham, with the office of the city manager, said city economic development officials would “very soon” be reaching out to companies, though some have already contacted the city. She said, “We’d love to have food, beverage, something that draws foot traffic as an anchor to that (Maple Avenue) corridor.”
But the second building needs to be relocated first, and there’s an idea of a floor plan identified, she said. Then, once an anchor is established, retail and other businesses would fill in around it.
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