LEDC invests in downtown real estate

Published 10:48 am Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Agency keeping Ironton parcels as rental properties

If Lawrence County or the city of Ironton ever develop plans to expand any part of its operation, either one could look for some help from the Lawrence Economic Development Corporation as far as land acquisition goes.

In March, the LEDC purchased two residential properties in downtown Ironton. One was 520 Center St., from Rita Bishop for $119,000, a house appraised at $63,440, according to the county auditor. The other is at 524 Center St., from Phil Hieronimus for $80,000, a house appraised for $66,180.

Earlier this year there was speculation that the block from Sixth to Fifth streets between Center Street and Park Avenue could be used as the site for a new county jail. However, nothing apparently developed from that.

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Right now the two parcels will be rental properties, Dr. Bill Dingus, executive director of the LEDC, said.

When one of the houses went on the market, the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization contacted Dingus.

“Some day we will need it for a jail or some other government building,” Dingus said. “Because of their proximity to the courthouse, we see those being prime development land for public properties in Ironton. At this point there are no other plans other than keeping them well-maintained rental properties until it could be used as governmental use.’

Also on that block are properties that face Park Avenue that are owned by the county for 911 dispatching operation and storage; Christ Episcopal Church, the Ironton Board of Education headquarters, a law office and a private residence.

“We would at this point have no interest in buying more property,” Dingus said.