A building in the former National Standard complex south of Wayne Street deteriorates from years of neglect.
A building in the former National Standard complex south of Wayne Street deteriorates from years of neglect.

Archived Story

Niles ponders demolition of former manufacturing complex

Published 7:55am Wednesday, October 30, 2013

National Standard, Co., has approached the city of Niles about demolishing its former complex on Wayne Street, a series of structures spanning approximately six blocks between Eighth and 11th streets.
The proposed plan is to raze all buildings to their concrete slabs, cover the slabs with 18 inches of soil and plant seed, according to City Manager Ric Huff. The area would remain open for recreational use, but not organized activities because the property is contaminated beyond the ability to be used for new construction.
Councilman Tim Skalla was pleased with the idea of having the buildings razed.
“It would be hard to imagine a bigger eyesore,” he said.
National Standard, which is owned by Heico, would retain ownership of and maintain the land.
Huff asked the council Monday for guidance on the issue. He said there is a possibility that the company doing the demolition would salvage what valuables remained and leave the job unfinished.
To guard against that, Huff said the city created a demolition ordinance that requires a company to take out a bond that would allow the city to finish an unfinished job at no cost to taxpayers.
Huff said there is a possibility the city would have to amend its ordinance for the demolition project to move forward.
“I’d rather see the buildings torn down and some green space rather than six city blocks deteriorating,” said Mayor Mike McCauslin.
National Standard is a wire manufacturing company that before being bought out by Heico in 2000 had its world headquarters in Niles.
The complex on Wayne Street closed several years ago.
National Standard currently has a manufacturing facility on Lake Street in Niles, northwest of the airport.

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