Warren County gets state demolition grants, but may have to adjust

Lebanon city manager says some of the properties awarded funding are no longer on track to be demolished

Six Warren County properties have been identified by state officials to receive demolition funding, but local leaders say two are already gone, and some others actually might not be razed.

Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s office this week said 2,277 blighted and vacant structures in 42 counties were identified for demolition funding allocated in the two-year state budget, to pave the way for new economic development and housing opportunities across the state.

The Warren County Port Authority received $500,000 for six projects. However, three projects in Lebanon may not be razed, as two property owners have indicated they might not be moving toward demolition and another may be redeveloped, according to Lebanon City Manager Scott Brunka.

The properties identified for the funding include:

  • 525 N. Broadway, Lebanon;
  • 535 N. Broadway, Lebanon;
  • 576 Columbus Ave., Lebanon;
  • 549 E Main St., Lebanon;
  • 3484 Lower Springboro Road, Springboro;
  • 5310 Bardes Road, Deerfield Twp.
ExploreFormer Lebanon school faces date with demolition crew

Brunka said the structure located at 525 N. Broadway has already been demolished, while the property located at 535 N. Broadway is being considered for redevelopment.

He said the property owners of 576 Columbus Ave. and at 549 E. Main St. have indicated that they may not be moving forward with demolition.

“We have not received definitive direction from the county on if the funds can be redirected to other projects if any of the original projects do not move forward, but we have asked that question,” Brunka said. “We have identified some potential properties that we would be interested in pursuing, but would require property owner approval.”

Eric Reiners, Deerfield Twp. administrator, said the property at 5310 Bardes Road, a former hotel, was demolished earlier this year. He said the building had been a public nuisance for years and that the township is hoping to use the funds to offset the demolition costs already expended.

Springboro City Manager Chris Pozzuto said their funds would be used to raze an old building at Clearcreek Park.

The Ohio Building Demolition and Site Revitalization Program was created to help local communities demolish decaying commercial and residential buildings and revitalize surrounding properties to attract investments, businesses, and jobs.

“We’re not just tearing down dilapidated buildings, we’re helping to make communities across the state better places to start a business, raise a family, and build a bright future,” DeWine said.

Projects announced Tuesday are in addition to the 825 demolition projects announced in October.

The projects announced will be funded with the Ohio Demolition and Site Revitalization Program set-aside grants, created in the state budget process and announced for each county in July. Thirteen counties will also receive additional program funding totaling $35.3 million to cover expenses in excess of the initial set-aside grants.

In total, state officials said the program will award nearly $150 million in grants for projects across Ohio.

About the Author