Strip mall coming to South Point

Published 10:59 am Wednesday, February 1, 2017

LEDC discusses plans for coming year

The Lawrence Economic Development Corporation’s annual meeting highlighted economic growth over the last year, as well as expected growth in the new year.

This included information from the Southern Ohio Procurement Outreach Center, noting that their awards per client have doubled, news from the Chamber of Commerce that they have added 25 new business members, and the establishment of new tech growth funds, among others.

There’s also new growth expected in the coming year at the Point Industrial Park, including the construction of a new strip mall in the space between the post office and the chamber offices.

Email newsletter signup

Associate executive director of the industrial park, Jeremy Clay, explained that they have three new businesses locating in the park soon.

The first, Mistras, does non-destructive testing of component parts, and could be a valuable asset to other manufacturers in the park as well, Clay said. The second is All Pro Supply, and third, Tribute, does pipeline and sewage work. In addition to the new businesses, Excel Scaffolding is expanding their presence in the park, moving into a larger structure at building ten.

The strip mall, Clay explained, is a “fully modern” design, and construction will begin sometime after the home currently on the lot is demolished. Clay said that they are currently waiting for a hard freeze, so that they can move in demolition equipment without doing additional damage to the lawn. Once that home is razed, Clay said, “the plan is to go in right next to the Chamber.”

Dr. Bill Dingus, during his executive director report, reminded everyone that “this agency is really a group of agencies, working together” for the improvement of the county as a whole.

Dingus also noted a rebranding project for Lawrence County as “Ohio’s Southern Coast” in an effort to draw more attention to the activities offered through the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau as well as in attracting business investment.

Though they have not moved forward with hiring a new director for the CVB, choosing instead to invest those funds in new electronic highway signs to advertise local events and festivals, Dingus assured the crowd that “the CVB is alive and well.”

Dingus also discussed utilizing property they had been able to obtain from Dow Chemicals for other development, and the board authorized Dingus to negotiate for the purchase of other property on the site.

“We’re short on buildings (in the county),” Dingus said. “So we’re very blessed to have those.”

Dingus also noted some other new investment in the area, including 24/7, who offers after care telemarketing, a service where they follow up with patients after hospital stays. He praised the work of the Tri-State Angels Fund investor group in obtaining that opportunity.

He also noted that they were seeking $1 million in funding to put into the pool area of the Wellness Center.

“These are the things that can make our whole quality of life here better,” Dingus said.

The group also approved the lease of a steel tank to Calgon at a rate of $2000 per month, for 12 months, with the right to go month-to-month after that.

The board also moved to approve the appointment of Curt Anderson and assistant Bob Compton as legal counsel, approve Caudill and Associates as auditors, approve a lease for laundromat property, authorize full development of the Brumberg Building in Ironton, approve the negotiation an extension of roadway property around Dow Chemical, to authorize the negotiation and approval of long term leases for property to be used by Fwd Energy and TDMS, and to approve the negotiation of a $1.2 million loan for a “major redevelopment project” that Dingus did not wish to discuss with the press present.