SIDNEY – The Shelby County Land Reutilization Corp. is moving forward with plans to sell the property at 305 S. Ohio Ave. in Sidney following a discussion about it during Tuesday’s meeting.
Most of the properties the Land Bank acquires are demolished because of their deteriorating condition. Of the 73 properties acquired in Shelby County, 65 have been demolished with two more set to be torn down soon.
But the white brick house at 305 S. Ohio Ave. appears to be structurally sound, Land Bank Director Doug Ahlers said, and already has garnered interest from a potential buyer.
“We have somebody interested in redeveloping it, but we’ll see,” Ahlers said of the property, which previously housed Shelby County’s alcoholism and drug treatment program. “We’ll see. I haven’t checked his background out yet.”
However, upon hearing the potential offer was expected to be $2,500 or $3,000, Shelby County Commissioner Julie Ehemann said that wasn’t enough and suggested the property be sold through an auction instead, a view that was shared by other committee members.
“We’re picking winners and losers here, and I don’t like that personally,” Shelby County Commissioner Bob Guillozet said of potentially selling the property to the first interested buyer.
Ahlers said he would approach other potential buyers along with advertising the upcoming sale in the newspaper. He wants to move quickly on any potential sale with just a short listing period.
“All of our rehabbers that we’ve had all can afford up to 10 grand out of their pocket to buy it right now,” Ahlers said. “So we don’t need to wait for the person who needs to look for financing because they probably can’t rehab it properly anyhow. We’ll end up with it again in three our four years or less.”
By committing to a sale, the Lank Bank is forgoing the chance to receive reimbursement funding for the property from the Neighborhood Initiative Project of the Ohio Housing Finance Agency. It reimburses agencies for the cost of demolishing blighted properties, but claims must be made within 45 days of acquiring a property. Moving forward with the sale would take the property out of that window.
“Once we decide to sell it we’re going to sell it. Period,” Ahlers said. “Because we don’t have any money to tear it down. We’ve gone beyond that.”
Committee members liked the idea of saving the property, though.
“The ones we’ve been tearing down have not been structurally sound,” Guillozet said.
The committee voted to allow Ahlers to proceed with the sale of 305 S. Ohio Ave., considering both auction and sealed bid formats.
“It’s going to take a lot of money to rehab,” Ahlers said. “It’s going to be a $100,000 rehab. It’s going to take the right person.”
In other news, Ahlers reported that two properties in Sidney – 323 S. Franklin and 426 Jefferson – are slated for demolition. The Land Bank also has received permission to donate a property in Lockington to the Ohio History Connection.
The Land Bank is in the process of acquiring other properties with five currently in foreclosure.
Treasurer John Coffield reported the Land Bank had no revenue during the month of June. The group had $35,089.38 in expenses, most of which were demolition related.
The Land Bank’s 2018 annual report is available for public review in the group’s offices.
Land Bank’s next meeting is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Aug. 6 in the County Annex.
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