Former mill building coming down: Move will open up riverfront work area

October 12, 2018

STERLING – Work has begun to dismantle a building at the Northwestern Steel & Wire site before it is moved to the Meadowlands Business Park.

The city owned the building that was rented by corn cob processor Best Cob. The city will lose about $96,000 a year in rent revenue.

The building must be demolished or moved because it is in the way of the city’s riverfront development plans in the Wallace Street area. It is now the property of the Greater Sterling Development Corp., and after it is taken to the Meadowlands, it will be used as a business incubator.

The building will be moved to a lot south of 1005 Commerce Drive, the former site of Anchor Coupling.

Serious talks about the building began in spring 2016, but the work timetable has been delayed a few times.

“Things got backed up with Best Cob because there were no engineering drawings for the building, so we had to have new ones drawn up,” Mayor Skip Lee said.

The bidding process finally began in August, and GSDC soon will have much-needed incubator space for its entrepreneurs. Rough estimates indicated that it would be cheaper to move the existing structure than put up a new building.

“The building will be disassembled from the inside, and our goal is to have it down by the end of October,” City Manager Scott Shumard said.

When the building is gone, it will go a long way in opening up that part of the riverfront for new projects. Dirt will be added to build up the area and an environmental barrier will be created.

“We’ll punch holes in the slab for drainage purposes, then begin the process of adding fill to the site to bring it up to grade,” Shumard said.

Some walkway work has been done in the area, and it’s hoped that concrete still can be poured this year for a parallel path along the seawall and lookout spot. Brick would be laid next summer. ADA compliance also factors into the city’s tight budget.

“We still have to figure out how to pay for hauling the dirt down there, but things should move along much easier after the Best Cob building is gone,” Shumard said.

The city also has started some of its planned road alignment work in the Wallace Street area. A roundabout will be built there, but it will take a back seat to another roundabout planned near the new Halo Branded Solutions building at Lynn Boulevard and LeFevre Road.

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