West Carrollton plans to buy riverfront land

The city plans to buy a small piece of land on the Great Miami River, furthering its long-range plan for riverfront development.

West Carrollton expects to buy a 0.23-acre lot at 5641 Marina Drive – which currently houses the former Green River Sales building – for $195,000, according to city records.

The land is next to a piece of property the city owns to the east close to Interstate 75 and one parcel away from a larger tract it bought in 2007, according to the Montgomery County Auditor’s Office website.

“Clearly, its advantageous to have properties that are contiguous,” said West Carrollton Economic Development Director Michael Lucking.

“At some point in time the city wants to foster some development in that area, and certainly having contiguous properties under our control certainly would aid the development process,” he added.

In 2012, a 600-acre, $110 million entertainment district was proposed in West Carrollton. In 2014, the city received state approval for a Community Entertainment District for the area along East Dixie Drive, and a market study evaluating the impact of what is now projected to be a 5,200-seat event center was completed.

Earlier this year, a local soccer organization said it is exploring the possibility of building an estimated $12 million multipurpose complex on up to 200 acres that may involve city property about a mile further west near the river. But city officials have said there has been little movement in that case.

The land the city wants to buy at 5641 Marina, a move city council approved Tuesday night, would be financed with a bond note, likely over 20 to 30 years, Lucking said.

While West Carrollton plans to close on the sale before the end of the year, Lucking said there is no immediate consideration how it will be used.

“What we’re looking at trying to do in the longer term is try to position that location for riverfront development,” he said.

City Manager Brad Townsend said the city did not pursue the purchase but was approached by the executor of the estate of Dannal K. Wade after the owner died earlier this year.

County records show the land – most recently used for retail, small engine repair and storage - was bought in 2001, county records show, for $175,000, $20,000 less than the city has agreed to pay. The “fair and reasonable” sale price is “supported by an independent third-party analysis,” city records indicate.

In the coming weeks the city will have environmental studies done on the 3,750 square foot parcel before moving forward with the sale, Lucking said.

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