COLUMBUS — Ohio Governor Mike DeWine and Lt. Governor Jon Husted on Friday announced the locations of more blighted and vacant structures that will be demolished to make room for new economic development. Among the projects announced is one in Hocking County, the razing of the old county jail.
The jail is a more than 4,500 square-foot brick structure that has been vacant since 2005. Once demolished, the site will be revitalized into green space and future development will be determined, according to a news release from the governor’s office.
As The Logan Daily News reported in January 2022, the jail had been one of five sites that were considered as candidates for demolition with funding from the Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, which were chosen with input from the city of Logan and the Hocking County Health Department. Other sites on the list were South Perry gas station, at 19475 state Route 180, Laurelville; an old nursing home, at 16128 Pike St., Laurelville; and a former school in Murray City.
Based on previous reporting in The Logan Daily News, it appears that the county commissioners began discussing the demolition of the jail in 2018.
A total of 599 additional structures in 15 counties will be demolished with support from the state program, which was created by the DeWine-Husted administration to help local communities tear down dilapidated commercial and residential buildings.
The projects announced on Friday bring the total number of demolition projects funded through the program to 3,699 projects in 87 counties, including 825 projects announced in October and 2,275 projects awarded in early December.
“By ridding our state of eyesores that are hindering development and impacting property values, we can revitalize our communities and attract new investments, businesses, jobs, and housing opportunities,” DeWine said in a news release. “Many of our communities have truly transformative ideas for these properties, and I’m pleased that we’re able to help remove these barriers to development.”
The Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program is administered by the Ohio Department of Development and was created with $150 million allocated by the Ohio General Assembly in the 2021 state biennium budget bill. All counties were eligible for at least $500,000, with some counties receiving additional funding to cover demolition expenses in excess of their initial set-aside grants. With today’s announcement, all funds allotted to the program have been awarded.
Other examples of new projects funded in the new round of awards include:
• Central Ohio Community Improvement Corporation (Franklin County): Columbus will demolish the former Westland Mall shopping center on the city’s west side. Following demolition, developers plan to construct a mixed-use project on the site.
• Henry County Land Reutilization Corporation: Remnants of the Sandy Hill Farm will be demolished, including a house, corn crib, and grain bin. In their current state, all three buildings are structurally compromised and have rodent infestations. Once demolished, the site will be utilized to expand operations of an organic farm.
• Montgomery County: Dayton will demolish the remains of a collection of condos at Lofty Oaks Lane that were destroyed by the 2019 Memorial Day tornadoes. The site will be prepared for future redevelopment.
• Summit County Land Reutilization Corporation: Akron will demolish what remains of the Rubber Bowl and Heisman House. The partially demolished stadium and abandoned lodge are dilapidated and an eyesore to the community. Following demolition, the site will be considered for future development around the Akron Executive Airport and expansion of Finish Line Park.
“So many of these sites have been a nuisance in our communities for much too long,” said Lydia Mihalik, director of the Ohio Department of Development. “Tearing down these problematic, rundown properties will move Ohio forward and make room to build and develop for the future.”
The Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program is part of Governor DeWine’s Ohio BUILDS Initiative, which focuses on supporting targeted solutions that impact the quality of life, such as water infrastructure improvements, broadband expansion, brownfield redevelopment, the demolition of blighted buildings, and more.
For more information on the new Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program, visit Development.Ohio.Gov/Demolition.
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