Asbestos slows demolition of abandoned Denison factory
DENISON, Texas (KTEN) -- The Denison's Development Alliance is taking taking steps toward demolition of the Johns Manville factory.
The plant has been vacant for 32 years, and DDA has tried to get control of it for 22 years.
DDA closed on the building just last June, and is the demolition process is finally now underway.
It took a long time for DDA to convince the owner of the Johns Manville facility to give it up.
"The only way to get it cleaned up and re-developed it for us to take control of it," said Denison Development Alliance president Tony Kaai.
That's exactly what the DDA is doing.
"Multiple buildings on this site; about 450,000 square feet of buildings," Kaai explained. "All of these buildings are covered in a concrete sheeting. That concrete sheeting contains asbestos."
Asbestos, which is known to cause cancer, surrounds the buildings both inside and outside.
"It'll all be cleaned up, taken out; then the sheeting will be removed by hand; then the steel structure and the parking lot will be demolished," Kaai said.
The building has long been a Denison eyesore, and the city knows it's time to give the property a facelift.
"When you cross over the Oklahoma border into Texas, the first thing you see is that abandoned building, so this is going to be such an uplift," said Denison Mayor Janet Gott.
Denison is looking forward to adding another company to its list of growing developments.
"To clean up that abandoned site and to redevelop it will add so much value to our community, so that's what we are looking forward to," Gott said.
The DDA said they've already had some interest from potential developers once the demolition work is complete.