CAMPBELL, Ohio (WKBN) – At the beginning of 2023, WKBN 27 First News reported on the city of Campbell’s plan to demolish the former Sheet and Tube Company homes. When WKBN first spoke with city officials and landlords, both sides agreed the demolition was necessary. Now, some landlords feel the homes can be fixed.
Campbell City Council President George Levendis says the homes are beyond repair.
“The roofs are caving in. They’re all filled with asbestos. There’s a serious drug problem,” he said.
Timothy Sokoloff who owns about 10 units on Chambers Street. He agreed with the initial demolitions but says what’s left is salvageable.
“What remains is fixable, useable, saveable. As a matter of fact, I’ve been living in my apartment for 16 years and now they want to tear it down,” Sokoloff said.
Levendis argues Sokoloff has had over 16 years to get the properties in order.
“He had ample time to get these properties in liveable condition. They’re not inhabitable, let alone liveable,” Levendis said.
The city is partnering with the Mahoning County Land Bank to clean up the area and tear the houses down. A whole row has already been demolished, and the city is considering putting a park in place of the properties.
Sokoloff has been vocal about trying to save the site because of its history.
“This is where modern living began. This is the first modern apartment complex ever built — first prefab. When people were coming over here from Europe from Ellis Island, this was the new hope. This was the new way,” Sokoloff said.
Levendis said that he understands the historical value and that saving some of the homes is “doable.”
“But the majority need to come down, and we’re going to lose that round of money, but the city is still going to move forward with demolishing them with city money,” Levendis said.
Levendis says about three units could be saved. In the meantime, Sokoloff is planning to file an appeal of the demolition with the city.