Asbestos removal begins at old Ashland Oil building

Asbestos removal begins at old Ashland Oil building
Published: Mar. 22, 2022 at 5:45 PM EDT
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ASHLAND, Ky. (WSAZ) - The process has begun to tear down the old Ashland Oil building on Winchester Avenue next to Delta Hotels by Marriot.

Crews started asbestos abatement Monday, and city officials say actual demolition will begin within the next two months.

“Ashland Oil has been really good to this town and I just think it’s an icon but it’s time for it to go,” said James Crum, owner of Jim’s Hotdogs and Spaghetti.

The building has sat empty for years, and now Ashland business owners are ready for something new to take its place.

“I’m sad to see it go for the staple that it’s been for Ashland, but honestly if they can do something that’s going to revitalize this area and bring more people in ... glad to see that it’s going to be of use,” said Jessica Caudill, owner of the Coffee Doc.

Until demolition is completed, 14th Street from Greenup Avenue to Winchester Avenue is closed. Driver needing to go across the bridge will have to detour on 15th Street or 10th Street.

Caudill says this detour has increased traffic by her business on 15th Street.

“I’m glad to see the upflow of traffic and people even noticing there’s other things short of what’s on downtown Winchester,” Caudill said.

Crum has been a part of the food business in Ashland for about 60 years. He says he’s ready for change.

“The building is so old and in such bad shape hardly anything could be done with it anyway. It’s time for something new,” he said. “It has been a problem for a lot of years, and it’s in bad shape inside from what I can see and know.”

City leaders hope to build a new convention center in place of the old oil building. Crum is rooting for that plan.

“I’ll be glad to see a new place a new building and hopefully a convention center it’s more parking for Ashland,” he said. “I think it will be a really good thing. The sooner they can get started and get it down, gone and something new in the happier I’ll be.”

Courtney Hensley with Visit Ashland is excited about the new tourism options this could bring.

“It has been a vacant building there for a long time, and we have a lot of exciting change going on downtown more businesses coming in,” Hensley said. “It’s exciting to see it’s in motion and that we’re heading in that direction.”

The exact date for when demolition will begin has not been released.

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