Old FirstEnergy power plant to be demolished

Posted at 7:37 PM, Apr 01, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-01 19:37:05-04

It is, by size and location, arguably the most iconic building on Cleveland's east side, but soon the 105-year-old coal-fired power plant just off the East Shoreway will be no more.

The Cleveland Planning Commission clearing the way for FirstEnergy to proceed with the plant's demolition despite last minute attempts to postpone the decision to see if there were any other alternatives for saving the buildings for other uses.

The plant, which was deteriorating, shut down in April of 2015, which FirstEnergy Director of Real Estate Ketan Patel said created an immediate problem.

"The way these plants are built they're heated from the residual heat from the generation of electricity," he said. "For the first time in a hundred years as of April 2015 this building is not heated."

That only served to speed up the deterioration as pipes froze and walls bowed.

Terry Joyce of the Building Laborers' Union Local 310 said he was initially in favor of finding a way to save the plant but after inspecting it realized it's too far gone.

"Our people in there right now are nervous in all parts of that building, they're safe buy they're nervous because of the state of the building," Joyce said.

The $15 million project will include cleaning the property, removing the top two feet of soil along with other steps once a future use for the lakefront property is determined.

FirstEnergy had said any further delay in the project would have put the immediate demolition in jeopardy with no guarantee of when they would have been able to get back to it.

Demolition will be complete by Dec. 31, 2016.