At its last meeting of 2015, the Board of Directors for the Southern Ohio Port Authority (SOPA) voted to purchase a 90-day option from Hadsell Development on an industrial park in Wheelersburg for $25,000.
Jason Kester, Executive Director of SOPA, said having the option on the 522 Industrial Park fills a deficiency of the community.
“The number one deficiency of our community is a lack of available sites and buildings. Other than the five acres remaining in the Bob Walton Industrial Park, we do not have another industrial park in the county,” Kester said.
After meeting with the Lawrence County Economic Development Corporation, Scioto County Commissioners, representatives from the city of Portsmouth and the village of New Boston, SOPA need to make sure the community has an industrial and a commercial business park where businesses can be placed.
Kester said purchasing the option is part of the overall economic development plan for the area.
“We want to start developing that property, so we can have some 20,000 or 30,000 square foot buildings,” Kester said.
He said the option will be purchased after the first of the year.
When asked about a possible purchase of the property Kester said “right now we’re perusing a number of financing options for the overall purchase and development of that property.”
In 2015 the former JC Penney Building in downtown Portsmouth was given to SOPA by Hatcher Realty.
The SOPA Board of Directors has authorized the sale of the property.
“We agreed to sell the (former) JC Penney Building to Mr. Tim Wolfe. We’re selling the building for $30,000 and his (Wolfe) intent is to develop some commercial space in there,” Kester said. “We’re (SOPA) going to use the proceeds from that sale to conduct demolition activities on some of the property SOPA has acquired,”
SOPA has been purchasing property in the city of Portsmouth through the Land Reutilization Program and through donations.
“We’re trying to box pieces of property together for potential redevelopment in the future. We’re acting like a land bank and hold property for redevelopment purposes,” Kester said.
For more information about SOPA and its activities visit, www.sohpa.org.
Wayne Allen can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 1933 or on Twitter @WayneallenPDT