Empty lots are currently being sought after by local residents on site of the old River Valley Hospital.

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Field of Dreams?

Published 11:11am Monday, September 20, 2010

Potential developers excited for upscale housing

Sixteen residential lots on the property that was once the site of River Valley Hospital are ready to go up for sale and at least one potential home owner is excited.

The property, which is owned by the Ironton Port Authority, should go on sale in the first part of October.

The Ironton Planning Commission Thursday approved the rezoning of the property to residential. The Ironton City Council will next consider the measure.

The port authority has a list of 16 to 18 potential buyers who have indicated interest in the lots. The port authority will meet with those people first to discuss purchasing the lots.

“We are working from a list that dates from three years ago,” Bill Dickens, IPA member, said. “We’ll start at the top of the list and work our way down.”

Port authority officials declined to release the names, but The Tribune learned that Bob Ackerman is one of the names near the top of that list.

Ackerman was excited to talk about his plans for the property. He plans to purchase a 122 by 132 foot lot on the corner of Ninth and Scott streets.

“I think the neighborhood is going to be outstanding,” Ackerman said. “We are really happy for upscale housing. Ironton hasn’t had that for a long time…

“A lot of people would like to upgrade but we’ve had a lot of people move to Kentucky because there wasn’t housing available.”

Ackerman plans to build a one-story, 60-by-60 square foot house with a 30-by-40 foot garage.

“They sent out a survey that asked, ‘After you buy the lot, how long before you plan to build?’” Ackerman said. “I put 5 minutes.”

After those on the waiting list, the IPA will consider anyone else who wants to buy the property.

Some infrastructure work is yet to be done. The IPA plans to re-establish Maple Alley and a storm water drain.

Besides the 16 residential lots, Lawrence County has purchased one lot that will be used for parking. Another lot will be donated to the City of Ironton for use as a pocket park.

The port authority has been working to have the property sold as residential lots since 2006. The property was donated from Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital, which also donated over $100,000.

“We have Our Lady of Bellefonte Hospital to thank for this property,” Dickens said. “They donated the property.”

The port authority also received a $750,000 Clean Ohio Assistance Fund Grant for the remediation and demolition of facility’s structures. In July, the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency approved the cleanup of the site.

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  • rayneshwrs

    TO Digi,

    The proposed medical facility site is much larger than the area in town that has now been zoned as residential. This will allow for an initial facility that will have room available over time to expand, creating more jobs locally, as well as more available medical treatment options in Ironton. I think it’s in a good location, right off the highway, easy to find and good access. And since OLBH donated the property to the Port Authority, kudos for turning residential and selling it for homes. Regardless of whether homes are built for personal use or profit, if they are sold and people move in to build their lives and raise their family in Ironton, it’s a good thing. I can only hope more opportunities present themselves to re-build Ironton.

    (Report comment)

    • Digi

      But with banking having such problems and it’s so hard to get a home loan unless your perfect and have the best job in the county, why let others get the land to flip? Let it be sold reasonably to people what want to build and live there first. Then if they don’t have enough buyers sell it to the property flippers to profit on.

      (Report comment)

  • http://www.leftovertech.com Leftover Tech

    In an area where I lived up north some years ago, they used grant money to rehabilitate residential properties.

    When those properties were sold, they carried a stipulation that they must be held for five years or returned to the housing authority.

    This made them unattractive to those who wanted to “flip” the properties for a quick profit, but no problem for families who intended to live there.

    (Report comment)

  • Buckeye Forever

    It isn’t that difficult to figure out. The new medical facility is being built right off of the highway. This makes a lot of sense. It will be easier to get to since it will be near the highway. Also, the old hospital land is better suited for housing since it is right in the middle of a residential area.

    (Report comment)

  • Digi

    So they are using grant money to get the properties ready for houses to be built on. Then, the few in the county with money will be building “upscale” housing and selling those properties for a huge profit.

    Now I would think the group would take into consideration and first choose buyers that are purchasing the land to build on for their own home. I know, it’s a big stretch to actually let people get a good deal on the land that really want to build a home for themselves on, but I think that would be a priority.

    But once again I’m confused, they rezoned this area for residential, while they are wanting to rezone another are for medical. Why didn’t they put the new ER there?

    Someone please explain the logic in this and the new ER land? I obviously just don’t see why they are doing all this rezoning and tearing down and rebuilding?

    (Report comment)

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