Long-standing store must move from Greene County Fairgrounds

Fairgrounds Furniture, a long-standing business in Xenia, will have to move to another location after their lease agreement was terminated by the Greene County Fairgrounds Board of Directors. 

The store, which has leased buildings and done business on the Fairgrounds property for 44 years, will have to relocate by mid-January, according to a letter sent to the Fairground Furniture owner Melissa Smith. 

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The letter, dated Aug. 22 and signed by Greene County Agricultural Board of Directors President Jerry Liming, cites failed negotiations regarding the need to have Fairgrounds Furniture close in May to accommodate Hamvention. The fair board determined Fairgrounds Furniture's demand for more than $24,000 as compensation for closing their operations during the May event was too much, according to the letter. 

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Fairgrounds Furniture interview

"The board of directors … hereby move to discontinue any and all contracts with Fairground Furniture," the letter reads. 

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The lease expires Dec. 31, but the 90-day notice is being extended to Jan. 15 "because of our appreciation for the long-standing relationship between Fairground Furniture and the board of directors," according to the letter. 

Mark Hill, who helps his sister run the family business, said that span of time is still too short for them to relocate. 

"I'm panicking," said Hill, a retired law enforcement officer who still remembers when his father opened the store in 1973. "I'm an advocate of Hamvention. I realize it's an asset for the community. I just don't want to be the only casualty from it."

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The Greene County Fairgrounds administrators issued a statement today, referring any further inquiries to their attorney.

“The fair board has worked with Fairground Furniture in retaining them as tenants,” the statement reads. “However, the demands of Fairground Furniture were excessive and the board has voted to terminate the current contract per the contract terms. Any other inquiry should be directed to the fair board attorney, Jeffrey Ferguson."

The Fairgrounds property sits close to but outside the city limits of Xenia. Regardless, city officials issued a statement today indicating the city will help Fairgrounds Furniture relocate if they want.

“While Fairground Furniture is currently outside the city limits of Xenia, the city would welcome the opportunity to assist the business with finding a suitable location to relocate inside the city limits if they desire,” the city’s statement reads.

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