Centerville’s Uptown land buy shows ‘commitment’ to $10M business district plan



CENTERVILLE — The city is buying land in its Uptown area, calling it a sign of Centerville’s “commitment to the success” to the estimated $10 million redevelopment project.

No specific plans exist yet for the property at 54 W. Franklin St. that Centerville City Council approved buying Monday night, officials said.

But “we are working with nearby business and property owners,” Centerville Development Director Michael Norton-Smith said in a statement Tuesday.

Credit: STAFF

Credit: STAFF

“This purchase is an example of the city’s commitment to the success of Uptown,” he added.

The land is a 0.2-acre parcel that Ned R. Graeter of Centerville plans to sell to the city for up to $125,000, documents show.

It’s in the heart of the historic Uptown business district, which the city wants to transform over several years.

Public parking and pedestrian walkability improvements were identified as priorities during the Uptown planning process in 2019. The Uptown Action Plan was approved last year.

The plan, according to the city, also focuses on: reducing traffic congestion; scheduling and organizing new events focusing on business development; developing branding; and increasing greenspace.

The process currently involves “a lot of activity happening behind-the-scenes,” Centerville Mayor Brooks Compton said.

The tentative timeframes established by the city for construction near the Franklin/Main intersection include:

•Northeast, 2022-23.

•Northwest, 2023-25.

•Southwest, 2024-26.

The land is just west of the intersection of Franklin and Main streets, near Graeter’s Ice Cream. But Ned Graeter is not connected to the Cincinnati-based business, a city official said.

The land, city records indicate, will be used for “future development or municipal services.”

Graeter bought the property, which has a structure on it, for $50,000 in 2009, Montgomery County records show.

Records indicate he and Centerville City Manager Wayne Davis signed documents April 29 for the transaction.

Earlier this year Centerville approved the hiring of civil engineering firm LJB Inc. and architect MKSK to scope, plan and design the Uptown streetscape and parking improvements project.

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