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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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        Oregon city council on Monday authorized a ground lease/purchase agreement for the former Kmart property located at 2830 Navarre Ave. for a 120 day due diligence period.

        The city wants the property as part of its downtown development project. 

        “This is the next step in a due diligence process for the city to determine whether it wants to enter into a 10 year lease with an option at the end of the 10 years to buy the property for $3.7 million, with lease payments of approximately $300,000 per year during that 10 year period,” said City Administrator Mike Beazley.

        “The city does not need to make a decision to take this property. It’s just a step in our due diligence phase until April 26. So this is a process where we can take this action, and determine between now and April 26 whether we think that the cost of demolition, the interest and development, and our capacity to develop are practical to move forward. Then we have to make that decision by April 26,” said Beazley.

        During that time, the city will get engineering estimates for demolition to determine suitability for development, he added.

        “We will see proposals from developers. Then we will make a decision between now and April 26 on whether we choose to move forward,” he said.

       

Land assembly

        The city has reached out to local and regional developers, said Beazley.

        “We’ve had some good interest in it,” he said. “Our preference is to have multiple partners as we move forward. We are doing some land assembly. Our intention is to combine this with some other land. We have interest in seeing some residential, commercial, medical offices, and other development as well. Anytime a city takes an action like this, there’s risk involved in it. In terms of when we look at Oregon and the challenges associated with it the last time we had a big box store go empty on Navarre, it sat empty for 15 years. So we understand the challenges with that. We believe though it’s best practice for cities to get control of the space. They can to go out and find developers rather than let it just sit dormant.”

        The city isn’t interested in developing the property on its own. Rather, they ware looking to bring partners to the table and bring some of the tools cities have to offer, such as tax abatement and Tax Increment Financing (TIF), said Beazley.

        “There’s opportunities that can bring some value there and create something,” said Beazley. “The community, almost since the day I walked in here, has expressed an interest in this sort of thing. I’ve heard it from council members, and some residents – to see what we could do together to bring development to our core. It’s fairly obvious to us on the city side that we need to do something, put something together that is essential to making it happen. We probably got 50 empty acres just sitting around in that core that have gone undeveloped. We think by bringing some tools, establishing the CRA, by partnering with the schools, by moving forward with TIF opportunities, we can bring the infrastructure to make it practical to move forward.”

       

Timing

        Councilman James Seaman, who is a member of the Economic Development and Planning Committee, asked Beazley about the status of getting proposals sent out to various developers who had visited the city.

        “We’re going to be sending them out here and across the region,” said Beazley. “We’ve had some good interest in it.”

        “The timing is pretty good,” said Seaman. “I’ve sat in with some interviews with Mr. Beazley and some of the developers from southern Ohio and southeast Michigan, and they’ve shown a lot of interest. When we send out proposals in the very near future, it’s going to be within the timeline of April 26.”

        Councilman Steve Hornyak, chairman of the Economic Development and Planning Committee, agreed.

        “The timing and the planning of this has been fairly significantly thought out as far as making sure we can do the RFPs (Request for Proposals), get them out and get a response back. At the end of the day, we’re not developing the property. We’re looking for someone to develop it. A developer is going to come in and decide what makes the best sense. He’s going to look at this from a feasibility standpoint. Until we know what that feedback is, we have our thoughts and plans of what we like, But at the end of the day we also need to see what that is and whether that meshes with our goals.”

       

       

       

 

abortion

The Ohio legislature has passed a bill that would ban abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected. In practice, that would make abortion illegal after six weeks.
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