Fate of heritage building up in the air

Vacant property at 68 London Road in Thamesville (Photo courtesy Municipality of Chatham-Kent)

A once vibrant business location in Thamesville might soon see its last days.

A report will go to council Monday night that recommends the building located at 68 London Rd., known most recently as Haymes Variety, be taken off the Municipal Heritage Register in hopes of expediting the demolition process.

Built around 1860, the building was once a landmark business location in the community and was added to the Municipal Heritage Register in 2010 because of it its cultural value to Chatham-Kent.

Haymes Variety, now closed, at 68 London Road (Municipality Chatham-Kent)

Haymes Variety, now closed, at 68 London Road (Municipality Chatham-Kent)

However, the property has since become derelict.

As of March 2018, the vacant building was in such bad shape that it had been deemed a public hazard over the deterioration of the exterior brick. The owner was given an “order to comply” to fix the building up. The owner obtained the proper building permits necessary to fix it up, however, no major work was ever completed and the building permit expired after six months.

In the eyes of the municipality, the building still remains a hazard to public safety.

The next step would be for municipal building development services to give the owner an “order to demolish,” which would require that the building be torn down. However, that process will go much faster if the property is taken off the heritage registry, something council must vote in favour of before it can happen.

The Municipal Heritage Committee was consulted for the recommendation and gave their support for removing the building from the registry.