The city’s purchase of almost 7 acres in the center of town for $3.4 million is another step toward the land’s redevelopment as a residential and retail area.
The purchase also anticipates the city and Warren County Transportation Improvement District’s plan to spend $10.6 million on the acquisition of land, redesign and reconstruction of the intersection of Ohio 741 and Ohio 73 in 2017.
On Thursday, the Springboro City Council is expected to approve a resolution authorizing the purchase of just under 6.8 acres near the northwest corner of Main Street, the local name for Ohio 741, and Central Avenue, the local name Ohio 73, from the Preston family.
“It’s just a redevelopment opportunity,” Springboro City Manager Chris Thompson said Tuesday. “Council thought it would be a good opportunity.”
The redevelopment and intersection reconstruction are expected to ease traffic congestion and spur economic development at the city’s main intersection.
“Thoughtful planning and property development will enhance the community with the combination of improved movement through the intersection and ‘smart’ redevelopment of the property,” according to the resolution.
Since 1958, the Prestons had owned and operated the IGA supermarket near the intersection. In December, the family closed the store. The Springboro Hardware, the business anchoring the Springboro Plaza shopping center across the parking lot, is scheduled to close at the end of this month.
Springboro is to purchase the supermarket, shopping center and adjoining vacant land for “mixed use with a residential component established on upper floors of multi-story buildings,” according to the city’s long range plan.
The Prestons continue to operate the drive-thru attached to the supermarket building, but on Tuesday, Doug Preston declined to comment.
Already more than $3 million in federal highway funding has been set aside by the Miami Valley Regional Planning Commission for the intersection reconstruction expected to alleviate traffic congestion and improve air quality.
Traffic counts say as many as 26,000 cars a day travel through the intersection. The bottleneck is worsened because a-two-lane stretch of Ohio 741 leading through the city’s historic district begins on the south side of the intersection.
An auto repair shop continues to operate on the northeast corner, a Speedway fuel and convenience store on the southwest corner.
A vacant gas station sits on the northwest corner, next to the Preston parcels, which the city plans to pay for from its general improvement fund.
The intersection plan sets aside $4 million for land acquisition.
On Tuesday, transportation district officials indicated they would contact property owners this fall.
“Project construction is anticipated for 2017,” spokesperson Savannah Shafer said in an email.