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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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  Oregon City Council recently authorized a ground lease/purchase agreement with the owner of the former Kmart property at 2830 Navarre Ave. for a 120 day due diligence period. The city will then decide 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.

        The acquisition is part of the city’s downtown development project.

        Shawn Kapfhammer, owner of S&K Mow and Snow, which is located on the property, will have to move his business, since all of the buildings at that location will be demolished as part of the acquisition deal. Kapfhammer leases the property for less than the going rate of commercial property at that site.

        Kapfhammer, who has leased the property from the owners of Kmart for four years, said he was not informed by city officials that he might have to relocate his business.

        “Not one person came to me for a plan on what we can do, other than what we can’t do,” said Kapfhammer. “The administration did not reach out to even see what they could even do for us.”

        He said he has another business in Rossford, but it is too small to relocate the Oregon business to that location.

        “My portfolio to go somewhere is not very big. My place in Rossford is a 2,700 square foot facility. I can’t contain my business and 20 employees in a 2,700 sq. foot facility. I can take a handful with me,” he said “I’m hurting more than everyone in this room put together. Nobody has skin in the game. It’s all tax money. Nobody personally has any other finances in this deal here. I’m the one that is hurt and hurting.”

        Kapfhammer said he didn’t want to keep the project from going forward.

        “Do I want to stop the city from growing? No. I was born and raised here. Why would I want to see the city I love not succeed? My city has failed me at this point. I’m not asking for money. I’m not asking for nothing - just a little consideration. Just to care. It doesn’t cost anything to care,” he said.

        Council President Dennis Walendzak apologized to Kapfhammer for what he is going through.

        “You and I have been friends and grew up together. I have done business with you. Nobody wants to see you fail,” said Walendzak. “You are a good businessman and you are good for the city. Obviously, you got caught up in some things that maybe aren’t as desirable as you would like them to be and I apologize for that and for not coming in to talk to you. But at this point in time, we’re not committing ourselves to anything other than moving forward with due diligence. On April 25, we can back out of this, and you’re still at Kmart.”

        “But where is my future at?” asked Kapfhammer. “Is it something we need to talk about here tonight or tomorrow? I need some clarity.”

        Walendzak said setting up a meeting with the administration to discuss the matter “would be appropriate.”

        “I would like to shed some perspective on this,” said Mayor Mike Seferian. “When you first moved in there, we told you that Kmart might go bankrupt nationally.” He said the five-year lease Kapfhammer has with the owners of the Kmart property is nearly at an end.

        “We are not throwing you out,” said Seferian, adding that he told Kapfhammer a year ago that negotiations to purchase the property were “moving a lot faster.”

        “You asked me if you could get a year. I said I thought you could get a year,” said Seferian.

        Seferian also said he reached out to Kapfhammer about the possibility of buying property at Wheeling and Pickle where the former Coy school was located. He said he contacted school officials, who were eager to sell for a few hundred thousand dollars. Kapfhammer, he added, was initially interested, but later said he could not afford it.

        Seferian said if the city doesn’t buy the Kmart property, “someone else will.”

        “They won’t sell it unless those buildings come down. They are telling us the only way we could take possession of that property is to tear the buildings down. We tried to get it without tearing the buildings down but we couldn’t do it.”

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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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