MOUNT VERNON - After serving as the Mount Vernon News headquarters for 82 years, the Knox County Land Bank has acquired the former News building located at 18 E. Vine St.
After the News' sale this summer, the staff relocated to the Woodward Building, leaving its former home open for redevelopment. The Knox County Land Bank has a history of stewarding properties through the revitalization process and is excited to take on this important building in downtown Mount Vernon.
“This building represents a big part of Knox County’s story and is an anchor building in downtown Mount Vernon. We want to re-envision the property so that it can still be viewed as a community asset, while continuing to build on the growth and development in downtown in recent years. Our goal is always to find the highest and best use for a property, but that won’t happen overnight,” said Jeff Gottke, land bank president.
Knox County’s earliest local papers were the Republican-News and the Democratic Banner. In 1938, the Republican-News purchased and merged with the Democratic Banner and formed the Mount Vernon News. Following the merger, the paper constructed a portion of the building that now stands at 18 E. Vine street. The building was subsequently remodeled and added on to in the late 1970s/early 1980s.
Redevelopment plans are currently evolving with input from community members and developers. The intent is to make the building an asset for the entire community.
“The land bank specializes in acquiring and repurposing underutilized property; this building certainly fits that description,” said Teresa Bemiller, land bank board chair and Knox County commissioner.
This acquisition wraps up an eventful year for the Knox County Land Bank. In October, the land bank assumed control of Cooper Progress Park and continues to work toward revitalizing the park. Land banks are quasi-governmental non-profits that catalyze redevelopment in communities. The Knox County Land Bank is one of 60 such entities in Ohio.