Westwater Supply moving to Greene Street building

Photo by Michael Kelly A pile of debris lies behind the old Remington Rand-Kardex building at 910 Greene St. in Marietta. Although much of the building has been vacant and deteriorating for years, city officials have expressed no concerns about having a commercial tenant move into a space on the east side of the complex.

MARIETTA — Despite the unsightly condition of much of the property, Marietta city officials have expressed no concerns about a new tenant occupying part of the former Remington Rand-Kardex plant at 910 Greene St.

Westwater Supply, a wholesaler of plumbing and HVAC material, announced last week it will move from its location in the Broughton complex near Devola to the Greene Street building and expects to have the new premises ready by mid-February.

Westwater, a family-owned private firm, has been doing business with a branch store in Marietta for about two years. Local manager Joe Adams said although the company was happy with the service it received from Broughton property management, it wanted a more centralized location with more space.

Westwater will lease about 10,000 square feet of the massive complex from the owner, Promanco, a Marietta property development and real estate company, and work has been going on at the site in preparation for the move.

“To the best of my knowledge, the plan review took everything into consideration,” said Chris Wilson of the Southeastern Ohio Building Department, the county agency that deals with building permits. “As long as the occupied portion is safe, and only the space they wish to occupy is being renovated … there are no applications for any other permits.”

Dave Hendrickson in the City of Marietta engineering department said his department was involved only in approving the zoning application.

“They came to us for a zoning permit,” he said. “When they brought us the application, we looked at the location and the plans for the work to be done on that part of the building. We counted that part of the building, not the rest of it, just a wing.”

Hendrickson said Promanco had been recently required to tear down an old wooden structure at the back of the 13.5-acre lot because the fire department had deemed it to be a risk.

“They have pulled that down, and the administrative building has a red ‘X’ to let the fire department know not to go in there,” he said.

“The county issued the use and occupancy permits” for the new business, he said. “The only permit from the city is for the zoning, and it meets the setbacks and other requirements.”

The fire department’s concern only relates to an unoccupied portion of the complex, the administration building sometimes referred to as “the bank,” a stone building with a pillared facade facing Greene Street.

“It has structural concerns, it’s the roof,” said Marietta Fire Chief C.W. Durham. “But that building does not affect in any shape or form what they’re moving into. That group (Promanco) has been great to work with. If we express a concern, they’re in our office to work through solutions with us quickly.”

Regarding the debris from the earlier demolition at the back of the complex, Durham said Promanco has done what was asked.

“They have moved it far enough from the building itself so that it’s not a continued fire hazard,” he said.

Promanco was contacted for a story last week about the building, but owner John Lehman made it clear he was not interested in discussing it for publication.

(Writer Janelle Patterson contributed to this story.)