Demolition under way on former med center in Valparaiso
By James D. Wolf Jr. Post-Tribune correspondent January 26, 2013 7:08PM
Sign outside the medical arts buiding at Sturdy and Evans in Valparaiso Friday Jan. 25, 2013. | Andy Lavalley~Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 28, 2013 6:54AM
VALPARAISO — Except for cyclone fences and construction vehicles around it, it’s hard to tell that demolition has begun on the shuttered medical center on the southeast corner of Sturdy Road and Evans Avenue.
However, Indiana Builders of Valparaiso is salvaging and recycling from the decrepit buildings at 2102 Evans Ave., new owner Suman Das said.
Actual demolition of the 26,640 square feet of buildings, which exist partially underground like a hobbit complex, will begin mid-February and be finished by May, Das said.
She bought the one-time Valparaiso Medical Arts building almost four months ago but decided not to renovate the 1970s-era buildings.
“It was a very good building,” she said. However, “to get it remodeled is not possible.”
The complex hadn’t been maintained and had damage when it was purchased out of foreclosure in spring 2010 by Holladay Properties, of South Bend, which operates in Lake, Porter and LaPorte counties.
In April 2010, there were few tenants and a pharmacy left.
The roof leaked, and there were structural problems, but about 5 acres of the land was unused, a Holladay representative told the Post-Tribune then.
Holladay representatives couldn’t be reached for comment.
Das said she has no construction plans for after the building is gone this spring.
New medical offices are a possibility, and she would like to bring her son, a doctor, back to Valparaiso, she said.
That isn’t a certainty, though.
“I do not have a solid plan, but I am open to possibilities,” she said.
The 9.5 acres at Sturdy and Evans isn’t the only property that Das owns in Valparaiso.
She owns the Dairy Queen on Lincolnway and the Country Inn that stands behind it, and she has interest in other properties near the Lincolnway traffic roundabout, including the northeast 2.1 acres once occupied by Red Hots restaurant.
Das is looking for medical tenants and other renters for those parcels.