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City must market its property

More than five years after cleanup efforts began, the former Ironton Iron site is nearly ready to be redeveloped and become a potential location for 21st Century jobs.

The 20-acre site on South Third Street is owned by the city. It could become an attractive piece of developable property within the city once the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency signs off on the final documents.

The big question now is how should this property be used?

City officials have made a modest marketing efforts in recent years for this property and land in the South Ironton Industrial Park. So far this has garnered little success.

These efforts should be reenergized once this reclamation project is completed.

If prospective tenants still don’t step forward it may be time for this city to borrow a page out of the Lawrence Economic Development Corp’s book and build a basic steel building that can be marketed to developers who are only interested in move-in-ready property.

The LEDC has been very successful with this approach and would provide guidance to help Ironton get the proverbial ball rolling.

Building anything without a buyer — in this case a tenant — poses some level of risk.

The private sector has always been built upon calculated risks and educated investments.

It may be time for the public sector to adopt a similar approach that can help a piece of Ironton’s employment past become part of its future.