The Greene County commission is considering moving forward on a proposed land bank that could bring a potential $20 million development deal to Fairborn, according to officials.
Greene County commissioners and other county officials will meet this morning for a work session to discuss funding and the cost ofcreating a county land bank. Some city officials say it would help reduce the number of abandoned and vacant properties and increase development in their communities.
According to Fairborn officials, a developer is interested in building an upscale senior housing complex on Rockdale Drive, but there is an estimated $20,000 in taxes still owed on the property.
“The benefit of a land bank is the land bank could accept the property and get rid of the back taxes,” said Deborah McDonnell, the Fairborn city manager. “This would be a wonderful tool. It’s a tool that’s not available to us independently.”
Ohio law allows counties with populations over 60,000 to establish a land bank.
When a land bank is in place, municipalities within the county can take control of vacant properties, erase any liens attached to the building or land, and pool properties to market them as a larger piece that could be used for redevelopment.
The potential senior housing development would be located at the end of Rockdale Drive near a park and other apartment buildings, according to Jonathan Boeckman, the Fairborn community development program coordinator. The site has been abandoned since the late 2000s when a Chicago developer who was building a 100-unit student housing complex for Wright State University halted the project.
“We’re looking for an opportunity for the Fairborn citizens who no longer have the means or capability to keep up a house,” Boeckman,” said.
The county treasurer, a representative from the prosecutors office and the auditor are scheduled to be a the work session today where a major concern is how to fund the operation, said Dick Gould, the Greene County treasurer.
“I think that was the road block at the last meeting and I think that’s still the biggest concern,” Gould said.