XENIA — The city of Xenia has asked the Greene County Auditor to reappraise how much Xenia Towne Square is currently worth for property tax purposes, a move that may save taxpayer money while the redevelopment is happening.
The city is requesting a revaluation of three different parcels that make up the former shopping center. One of these includes the entire eastern half of Xenia Towne Square, except for Cornerstone Bible Church and Key Bank on the northeast corner, and Coldwell Banker and the law offices of John Nicholson on the southeast corner. The main property is currently valued at $3.2 million, according to the auditor’s office.
The second parcel is a now entirely empty concrete lot where the Fulmer building and old K-Mart used to be, currently valued at $963,220. The third is the former Ramada Inn and the associated parking lot, valued at $2.1 million.
In 2022, Xenia paid just under $113,000 in property taxes for those parcels, according to the auditor’s office.
Since taxes are always for one calendar year previous, the demolition of the former Fulmer building earlier this year wouldn’t affect Xenia’s property valuation and taxes until 2024, Greene County Auditor David Graham explained.
However, the revaluation is still useful because lower property values are beneficial for Tax Increment Financing and other economic development efforts, Graham said, and thus may help the city capture the greatest amount of savings.
“Every property owner has a right to file what’s called a ‘valuation complaint’ by March 31, and I encourage anyone who thinks their property is overvalued to take advantage of that opportunity,” Graham said.
The increased vacancy of the retail center, combined with “the former owners’ lack of reinvestment in the site and buildings,” have resulted in substantial reduction in practical value for the property, according to city documents.
“It is in the public’s interest that the retail center property be valued and taxed fairly,” city documents say.
The revaluation may potentially reduce how much the city owes on property taxes for the Square. Any savings would “reduce the annualized liability placed on the city for tax obligations,” Economic Development Coordinator Steve Brodsky said, and ultimately allow the city to cover costs associated with restoring and upgrading public infrastructure.
Xenia currently has a contract with American Structure Point to survey the Towne Square and provide detailed recommendations for new or improved streets and utilities, Brodsky said.
“While we are anxious to see continued progress on the redevelopment, including vertical construction, the groundwork the city and our development partner Dillin have been laying is critically important for the long-term success of the project,” Brodsky said. “By carefully and thoughtfully creating a strict set of standards and a specific redevelopment plan to follow, we can assure the new development will be of the type and quality we would like to see, while still being mindful of fluctuating economic and market conditions.”
City Council also entered into a new Development Services Agreement with developer Dillin on Thursday, which would involve developing detailed architectural standards; signage and landscape standards; specific plans for the Ramada site and other sub-areas, including housing development; and detailed phasing of the overall redevelopment plan, according to city documents.
The agreement allows for additional refinement of the components and strategies of the redevelopment plan, said Aaron Horn, Development Manager at Dillin.
“It’s important to understand this project is intended not just to be successful in its own right, but designed to make Xenia a destination location,” Horn said. “We are committed to crafting a development solution for the project that strengthens the fabric of the community.”
City council approved a preliminary $125 million redevelopment plan last year.
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