Greene County eyes state funds to demolish eyesore buildings

Grocery story in Xenia, Antioch building in Yellow Springs among those on county’s list

Greene County is seeking state funds to demolish several eyesore buildings in multiple local cities.

Commissioners authorized the application for $500,000 in state funds Thursday to demolish five residential properties and three commercial properties, the latter of which have a local match of $550,000.

Three residential properties in Caesarscreek Twp, one in Beavercreek, and one in Fairborn will be torn down. Greene County requested a fund match from local governments and owners of the three commercial properties, which are much more expensive to demolish.

Three commercial properties would be demolished under the plan:

** The old Fulmer grocery building in Xenia Towne Square ($125,248 requested, with a $50,000 match from Xenia)

** An old industrial facility at 154 W. Xenia Ave. in Cedarville ($183,100 with a $125,000 match)

** A run-down structure at 275 E. North College St. on the campus of Antioch College in Yellow Springs ($100,000 with a $375,000 match).

The state’s capital infusion netted more in private investment than what is being offered by the government, said Greene County director of development Eric Henry.

“This is a sign of healthy community buy-in and participation. We could not have distributed these funds across this many projects, in this many jurisdictions, without the high level of community support that this program has received,” Henry said. “The match amounts are based on what these communities and organizations can afford, and how quickly these sites can be redeveloped into projects that will create jobs and increase local property values.”

Once the grant is approved, the county must allocate all funds by June 20 of this year, with all work completed by May 1, 2023.

Xenia is also seeking funds to remediate an old coal and gas plant (known as the Collier property) at 249 Sycamore Street. In January, the city applied for state funding to clean up the industrial property, which also has a “troubled history” of criminal activity, drug use, and vandalism on the site. The city would likely turn the site into additional parking or green space for Xenia Station.

The state’s biennial budget allocated $150 million for commercial and residential demolitions and $350 million for brownfield remediation using federal stimulus funds. Each of Ohio’s 88 counties will automatically receive $500,000 for demolition and $1 million for brownfield remediation, which is the removal of hazardous materials left by industrial or commercial blight.

The former Hooven and Allison Cordage Company in Xenia and the former Cemex plant in Fairborn are both listed as brownfields in the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency brownfield database.

Remaining state funds — $106 million in demolition and $262 million for brownfields — will be disbursed “first-come, first-served” and require a 25% match, distributed in three rounds as long as the money holds out.

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