Main Street Portsmouth, with the help of several other organizations and local businesses, is undergoing a project to revitalize an existing downtown structure and create a new public space.
535 Second Street, which has been a vacant and overgrown lot in the Boneyfiddle District since the roof caved in roughly a decade ago, is in the process of being transferred to Main Street to be transformed into a public garden court. According to the Main Street Portsmouth Facebook Page, the space is intended to be an intimate local gathering place where small performances, poetry readings, drumming circles, weekend art galleries could be held, as well as serve as a destination lunch spot, or a quiet reading place. According to the organization, both city and county officials are in support of the project, along with many second street business owners, Heritage Ohio, and community organizations.
“The County Commissioners were contacted by Main Street and asked how the transfer from the City to Main Street would be transferred. Main Street could not take possession of the property directly, so they would have to go through the Land Bank or the Southern Ohio Port Authority. We offered to help any way possible to get the property transferred through the Land Bank, and we said we’d do whatever we needed to get it done. Main Street had to go to the City LRP (Land Reutilization Program) to get the property, and once they were able to do that they got a unanimous decision from the board to transfer the land. Now we’re in the process of having our attorney work with the City Solicitor to get the land in the hands of the Scioto County Land Reutilization Corporation, the county land bank. After that is done we will be able to transfer the land to Main Street,” Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis said Wednesday. “There is a lot of collaboration on this project, a lot of working together to make this happen. This is going to give people a brand new place for people to come and visit on Second Street. The Scioto County Commissioners are glad to be a part of this project.”
According to Main Street Portsmouth, after the transfer is complete with help from SOPA and the Land Bank, the Scioto County Career and Technical Center has volunteered to work alongside Main Street to turn what is now a jungle into a quaint gathering place.
Reach: Ivy Potter (740) 353-3101 Extension 1932