Blighted buildings can be a city's toughest task

Four Norwalk structures are in the spotlight
Scott Seitz2
Mar 10, 2014


One of the most difficult issues local officials have to deal with involves blighted buildings.

Presently, four Norwalk structures are in the spotlight.

Those are the former Eagle gas station at 76 Benedict Ave., the former Waldo's Bar at 46 Benedict Ave., the former Shamrock Tavern (which burned in 2010) and the building right across Hester Street from the Shamrock, which has its front held up by wood planks.

A story about this subject was published Saturday in the Norwalk Reflector. So you don't miss stories such as this one, you can subscribe to the Norwalk Reflector to receive home delivery and/or the e-paper, which is a complete digital replica of each issue. For more information, call (419) 668-3771 or click HERE.




Re: "four Norwalk structures are in the spotlight."

What about the underground tanks at the abandoned Eagle's?

How does anyone know if they're not already leaking?

There aren't other dilapidated buildings?

Estrella Damm

Tear down Shamrock and Derby's Law Office for parking.


Interesting that the two blighted buildings on Linwood Avenue were conveniently omitted from this article. We all know who owns them.


who owns them?

swiss family

shouldn't the 3, highly paid employees of the NEDC be involved in this?????


Will the city ever tackle dilapidated residential housing?

Those eyesores tends to lower every homeowner's property values.


Why isn't the old Outdoorsman building mentioned? It's on the corner of Linwood and Seminary. Is it because Carl Essex owns them? Why has his property been left out? Norwalk has a special committee for buildings in the downtown area, that is supposed to oversee such problems. My understanding is, owners can't even change the color of the paint on their buildings without it being approved! How is it that these property owners are allowed to have these buildings in such disrepair?

swiss family

if you are referring to the NEDC , they are there but are only willing to get involved if no one on their committee or board, has any vested interest in the property... if their board member can strong arm, and bully other actual merchants, then the NEDC will stay quiet and turn the other way... why are we paying these people again?? isn't their mission statement,, in part, saying that they will work with and encourages "vibrant and vivid central business district" that is what I read on their website, and yet I see them doing nothing about helping the local and long established downtown business.. because a "board member" has his sites on taking over that building if he can push out the current owners...Just like it matters if you are a regular citizen, asking for better lighting, where city council does nothing except send over a representative from Ohio Edison, who will look you in the yes and outright lie to you.... but if you are a fireman, they will jump through hops to help you...In my opinion, there are some pretty shady dealings going on in this town, and it is nepotism and favoritism, and depends who you are and who you know.... and once the citizens figure out who has power and a voice and who doesn't...things might possibly chnge


been_there_done_that, Don't quote me, but I believe it's because these buildings don't have frontage on Main Street, Benedict, or Whittlesey. Pretty narrow-minded approach, if you ask me.

Reflector, as always, picks and chooses how to cover these types of issues. It's all in who you know, and who knows you. Essex' name is listed as owner of record for both the old Outdoorsman building and the building next to it.


Actually, I think been_there is talking about the city's Board of Architectural Review. That Board is charged with the physical appearance of buildings in Norwalk within the specified area.

Tom Paine's picture
Tom Paine

There's a good dialogue happening here. Some of the constructive criticism seems a little misdirected, but at least we're asking questions of one another. I don't think either of those Linwood properties are being held up by treated 4 x 8's (or whatever that building on Hester is being propped up by). That alone seems reason enough to deem a structure "blighted".

The NEDC can't be expected to act as a silver bullet though. We're in a manufacturing free fall and our downtown still looks better than most in the Midwest. Parking's rough, established money owns most of the buildings, and nobody with a fresh idea has enough capital to put that idea into fruition. Those three truths are hurting us more than the NEDC. Those people are the only thing keeping us from looking like downtown Mansfield, to be honest.


Wasn't Essex the person who was in arrears on his real estate taxes for his blighted buildings? He has "pull" with the commissioners and can get away with these things.