MOUNT VERNON — By next summer, an eyesore on Newark Road will have a new look.
On Friday, the board of the Knox County Land Bank approved the application of Ben's Properties to buy the house at 244 Newark Rd. Jeff Gottke, president of the land bank, declined to state the purchase price. He anticipates the sale to be completed by the end of the month.
Ben's Properties will then have six months to complete the renovations, estimated to cost around $100,000. The end use will be a single-family, owner-occupied residence.
The board also voted not to approve the application from Bargain Homes LLC to buy the house at 304 E. Ohio Ave.
Recent action on other land bank properties includes:
- 505 N. Jefferson St.: house demolished by purchaser
- 12344 and 12346 Howard-Danville Road: structures demolished. Waiting on survey before turning over to the Knox County Park District for use as Jelloway Creek access to Hellbender Preserve.
- 623 N. Sandusky St.: requested it go to land bank if it does not sell at sheriff's sale
- 504 E. Ohio: getting bids for demolition
- 407 N. West St.: discussed potential ways to get money for rehab
- Shellmar site: in process of creating a site rendering dividing the acreage into several smaller, more manageable parcels more conducive to companies
- Apple Valley lots: two Board of Revision properties the land bank will acquire through sheriff's deeds for which buyers have been identified
Lucas Kruezer, land bank intern from Kenyon College, continues to gather and digitize information on East Ohio/Howard Street area data. The area includes some historic homes. The land bank is exploring the feasibility of designating the area a Community Reinvestment Area to encourage property owners to renovate their properties.
Gottke spoke at the Ohio Land Bank Association annual conference about the challenges facing rural land banks. He said the group was interested in hearing how the Knox County Land Bank works in light of not receiving any grant funding.
He also noted that KCLB policies are more rigorous and more selective than other land banks'. Other land banks tend to demolish structures first and then look to repurpose.