Barriers on West Main Street

Fencing has returned to the sidewalks along the 100 block of West Main St., but Hillsboro Safety and Service Director Brianne Abbott told The Times-Gazette that city workers aren’t involved in the project.

Instead, the adjacent property owners — the Southern Ohio Historic Preservation Investment Group — are continuing work on the building.

“The property owners are fixing the adjacent wall, and they’ve applied for some other building permits on the five parcels there,” Abbott said.

Though the development of the former site of the Parker Hotel, which the City of Hillsboro won in a mid-May auction, has been delayed, Abbott said she and other officials are looking toward the future.

“As of right now, we’re still looking to the future for the lot, but right now, there’s no action,” Abbott said. “It’s kind of been on a standstill with allowing the property owners to use that property to build back the wall, and also COVID has kind of put a little hold on some 0f our projects for the time being.”

In a previous interview, Abbott said plans for the former site of the Parker Hotel are still in the very early stages, but the city hopes to use the space for economic development.

The city began demolishing the Parker Hotel in late February, but the project was delayed when workers from Evans Landscaping discovered issues with the wall connecting the Parker House and Parker Hotel.

Soon after the demolition began, Hillsboro Public Works Superintendent Shawn Adkins said, “We have to do a little work on the other building now so it doesn’t fall. The corner on the Parker House side — not the Parker Hotel — is really unstable, so we’re going to take part of that corner down then we’ll rebuild it once we get the hotel part down. We’re just going to take precautions so there’s no damage to the building.”

When asked if there were plans to salvage any materials from the Parker Hotel, which some community members called for, Adkins said nothing will be salvaged.

“A lot of people haven’t been in it for several years. It’s in really bad shape,” Adkins said. “The wood floors are all hooved up from water damage. There’s mold in a lot of it. It’ll be sprayed with water for dust control, but we’re not doing anything for salvage.”

The city deemed the Parker Hotel, along with 119 W. Main St., uninhabitable in April 2019. A couple of months later, the building at 119 W. Main St. collapsed.

In October, the buildings at 115, 117 and 119 W. Main St. — Slow ‘n Low Barbeque, Bon Appetit Gourmet Shoppe and Gifts, and then-vacant Town Square Jewelers, respectively — were demolished.

At a Jan. 13 Hillsboro City Council meeting, Mayor Justin Harsha asked the council if the city could use available funds to tear down the Parker Hotel. Council President Tom Eichinger said money was allocated to tear down the Parker Hotel in 2019, and the council voted unanimously by voice to use the funds for the demolition.

The following month, at a Feb. 10 council meeting, Harsha announced that the city had received a deed for the Parker Hotel and that the demolition process could begin.

Reach McKenzie Caldwell at 937-402-2570.

Fencing returns to the 100 block of West Main St. as private property owners work on property adjacent to the lot where the Parker Hotel once stood. returns to the 100 block of West Main St. as private property owners work on property adjacent to the lot where the Parker Hotel once stood. McKenzie Caldwell | The Times-Gazette
Some of City of Hillsboro’s projects on hold

By McKenzie Caldwell