The Southern Ohio Port Authority continues to sell unused property it owns around the area in hopes, of course, that property will be put to new use. And although no new use seems likely after a $10,000 sale to OSCO Industries, Inc., the sale still seems likely to help accomplish some good.
SOPA board chairman Robert Horton said the organization sold OSCO a strip of property which was essentially already attached to the company’s New Boston location. One board member noted the strip of land sits inside the fence OSCO has around its property. Horton later joked OSCO officials may have for some time been unaware the company did not own the land.
As already noted, though, the New Boston parcel may not be put to a new use. The sale will aid some long unused property in downtown Portsmouth. Horton said $3,000 in proceeds from the OSCO sale will go towards helping Main Street Portsmouth, a nonprofit community organization, revitalize what has for over a decade been essentially an eyesore in the middle of the Boneyfiddle area.
Main Street Portsmouth is set to take over 535 Second St., which has been vacant and abandoned since the roof caved in roughly 10 years ago. According to Main Street Portsmouth, the space will become a local gathering place where small performances, poetry readings and so on can take place.
“Main Street could not take possession of the property directly,” said Scioto County Commissioner Bryan Davis, who added the civic group needed to work with SOPA and the county land bank to take control of the property.
“There’s a lot of collaboration on this project, a lot of working together to make this happen,” Davis said. “This is going to give people a brand-new place for people to come and visit on Second Street.”
The SOPA board also is working on selling up to three pieces of additional property to private residents. A parcel at 419 Boundary St., seems to be the furthest along in the sale process. If all goes as planned, the land will be sold to an adjacent property owner for $1,900. SOPA officials are investigating the sale of two additional properties, ensuring, among other things, the would-be purchasers actually own adjacent properties. Ownership of adjoining land is a major condition of SOPA land sales.
Presumably by pure coincidence, the first SOPA land sale took place on Boundary in March. At the time, Portsmouth resident Michael Keys said the change will help revitalize his neighborhood as well as giving his children a larger place in which to play as he and his fiancee intend on using the property as an addition to their backyard.
“It’s a nice step up for that area,” said Phil LaJoye, a member of the SOPA board of directors commented after the March sale.