Wood Co. officials seek to close Woodville Mall

Woodville Mall in Northwood, Ohio.
Woodville Mall in Northwood, Ohio.

BOWLING GREEN — Wood County officials plan to seek a court order Wednesday in order to close the Woodville Mall in Northwood as quickly as possible.

Michael Rudey, the county’s chief building inspector, said Tuesday evening that a team of inspectors who toured the mall this week found enough severe problems with the 42-year-old retail center to deem it unsafe for public use.

“It’s sad to say, but there’s just too many things wrong with it,” Mr. Rudey said. “If the owner wants to keep it open, he can fix the problems. He has options to do that.
“But right now, it’s just a serious hazard to let people go in and out of it,” the building inspector said.

The mall, located at 3725 Williston Rd., has been the subject of multiple complaints by customers about its leaking roof and lack of heat. It only has 12 retail tenants, plus two anchor stores, The Andersons General Store and Sears. The Andersons and Sears would likely stay open because they have taken care of their areas and have separate outside entrances.

Mr. Rudey said inspectors were concerned initially that the mall’s sprinkler system to contain fires was inoperative. But the building inspector said a two-hour inspection on Monday revealed many other problems, including a lack of heat, areas where the roof had collapsed or was in danger of collapsing, water damage, mildew, and buckling floors.

Mr. Rudey and Brad Espen, a Wood County health inspector, turned their findings over to Wood County prosecutor Paul Dobson, who is expected to seek an injunction in common pleas court that would order the mall’s immediate closure.