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LEDC purchases Grandview Inn

Economic Development Corporation hopes to spur more growth

SOUTH POINT — The Lawrence Economic Development Corporation has purchased the Grandview Inn property on County Road 450 in South Point.

According to a real property conveyance form filed with the county auditor, the group purchased the building and 10.5 acre lot for a consideration of $1,050,000 on Feb. 28. This is more than twice the estimated total value of the property, which is listed as $437,150 on the conveyance valuation. However, LEDC Executive Director Bill Dingus explained that the auditor has appraised the site for $1,243,000. At that price, he explained, the LEDC had actually gotten the property for nearly $200,000 under its appraised value.

Dingus explained that although the property needs a lot of work, the LEDC sees potential for redevelopment at the location along U.S. Highway 52.

Dingus said that they don’t plan to close the inn, but they do plan to tear down at least two of the buildings on the property that are in disrepair.

“The staff there is great,” Dingus said, explaining that they had no desire to close the business or lay anyone off.

In fact, he explained, they want to attract more businesses to the area. He said they hope to potentially acquire some surrounding property as well, for a total of up to 16 acres of retail development.

But the 256 rooms at the inn, which Dingus said was approximately 50 years old, are more than are needed today.

What they would like to do is downsize the number of rooms, repurpose what they can, and prepare the rest of the property for new retail development.

“The restaurant (part of the inn) is still good space,” Dingus said. “It does need some roof work though.”

Dingus likened the purchase to the efforts of the Lawrence County Land Bank, whose goal is to reclaim blighted residential properties so that they can be redeveloped and returned to productive use. He praised the work of the land bank under Stephen Burcham and explained that the LEDC wanted to complement those efforts in the retail space.

If a new bill championed by Western Reserve Land Conservancy, Vice President, Jim Rokakis makes its way through Congress, it could overturn rules that restrict land banks from using federal funds to purchase and redevelop commercial properties. The LEDC, however, is not bound by such rules.