Susan White, center, and Elizabeth Curtis, 5, right, both from the neighborhood, collect bricks to use for landscaping and keepsakes as a demolition crew works at the site of what was once Sylvan Pool.
Sylvan Pool, a neighborhood summer spot for more than three decades that later turned into city blight, has been demolished to make way for a residential development.
For three days beginning Tuesday, crews excavated the pool and prepared the land to make way for homes at 6422 Longfellow Rd.
Sylvania resident Jeff Stansley, whose family owns property in downtown Sylvania, purchased the property in November and has plans to build homes on the site.
City officials credit the Lucas County Land Bank for stepping in and taking ownership of the property until a proper end user was found.
Mr. Stansley estimated he spent $20,000 for the pool’s removal, clearing the land of debris, and compacting the ground. He said he plans to build two or three single-family homes on the site, possibly starting this fall.
The pool, idle since 2007, was built for residents of the Sylvan Square development. In the last five years it changed ownership at least twice, and city officials said it was tax delinquent. Mr. Sanford said the pool was in need of major repairs. It was estimated to cost about $21,000 to operate annually.
A backhoe moves debris from the demolition of Sylvan Pool in Sylvania. The community-run pool opened in the 1970s and recently fell into a state of disrepair.
Mr. Sanford said the city had received complaints about the property and also requests from residents asking for it to be revived as a pool. He said the complaints outweighed those asking for the neighborhood pool to be reopened.
Open for at least 35 years, the pool was a convenient hangout for area children. In 2008 neighborhood residents said the pool’s popularity declined because children were partaking in soccer and other activities, and area residents complained of the potential hazards of an unused pool.
“In this case there was a blighted eyesore that was a drag on the neighborhood, and we worked with the city of Sylvania to acquire the property,” Wade Kapszukiewicz, land bank chairman, said.
The land bank’s mission is to strengthen neighborhoods and increase property value. He said it also has the authority to acquire foreclosed property before it is subject to auction. In this case the property owner owed more than $5,000 in taxes and donated the property to the land bank before foreclosure. The land bank acquired it in November.