CHILLICOTHE (WCMH)- Adena Health System is within weeks of taking up residence in the historic Carlisle Building.
The downtown landmark was almost destroyed by an arson fire in April 2003. More than twelve years and $10 million later, the building opens to the public October 19.
“We are kind of excited for them to open,” said Kayla Simmons, owner of the beauty salon next door.
Simmons opened her shop at this precise location a year ago, hoping the renovation of the of the building, which was built in 1885, will breathe new life into downtown Chillicothe.
“I started looking for spaces and this came right up and I thought it would be perfect,” said Simmons. “I know there aren’t many hair salons open close to this, so hopefully it will help grow my business.”
The developer, Michael Chesler, purchased the building a year and half ago for $300,000. He said it was falling down; the fire ravaged much of was inside.
“This building might be the most challenging of my career. I’ve done thirty buildings,” said Chesler, President and CEO of the Cleveland-based Chesler Group.
Five different developers tried to save the Carlisle, all failed. When Chesler and his group began working on it, it was structurally unsound.
“During the course of the initial renovation, we were concerned at any moment in time the first four months, that while were going doing demolition, the building was going to collapse,” said Chesler.
Adena Health System, long seen as the only company capable of refurbishing the building, signed a 15-year lease with Chesler.
The bottom floor renovated administrative offices, while the upper floors are now apartments for medical students, resident doctors and visiting physicians.
All the apartments come furnished, with top-of-the line amenities. Small details around the windows were saved, as well as a brick wall covered in fire marks.
“This will be a catalyst to renovate our downtown,” said Mark Shuter, President and CEO of Adena Health System.
The crown jewel of the Carlisle, the turret, features a two bedroom apartment which will be rented out.
“All of our local business owners are really excited to have more people around,” said Kayla.