XENIA — Xenia City Council recently passed a resolution that authorized a sale agreement for the acquisition of a property on Sycamore Street.
The sale agreement between the city and Anthony W. Collier and Walter D. Crum, II, involves a “swap” with a vacant city-owned parcel at 403 E. Main Street.
This agreement allows the city to essentially acquire this parcel with Collier and Crum at no additional financial cost to the city, while offloading a vacant parcel the city acquired through foreclosure and has no plans to use.
According to council members, the property, located between the Xenia Station Splash Pad and the Eavey Building, has been a blight on the city for many years and has been the site of numerous code violations, fires, homeless encampments, and a suicide in recent years.
Months ago, the city received an Ohio Department of Development’s Brownfield Remediation Program grant for the remediation of the property. The cost to remediate is estimated to be around $850,000 and the grant will cover $629,354 of the cost, leaving a portion of around $210,000 to come from the city’s general fund.
The Brownfield Remediation Program is part of Gov. Mike DeWine’s Ohio BUILDS Initiative, which focuses on supporting targeted solutions that impact quality of life.
City staff has reiterated that the project has been included in the City Capital Improvement Plan for years and is strategically positioned to provide parking amenities for future growth of Xenia Station, development in the Hub District, and redevelopment of the former Eavey Warehouse.
“We’ll be tearing down the buildings, clearing trees and debris, and putting an asphalt cap over the top,” said councilman Will Urschel. “It’s been a magnet for bad activity and a major eyesore.”
The property, which has been vacant since 2004, is believed to be contaminated from hazardous materials such as petroleum, metals, solvents, PCBs, and creosote. Although contaminates have seeped into the groundwater underneath the buildings, city officials say the area can be capped off by putting fresh dirt, gravel, concrete, or asphalt over it so contaminates won’t rise to the surface.
A city scope report states there is currently an abandoned building on the property and environmental pollution from years of electric transformer and automotive-related storage on the site.
An abandoned DP&L coal-powered sub-station with overhang, formerly the site of the Xenia Gas & Light Company (from 1901), and a main vehicle garage/maintenance facility for the DP&L vehicles, are located on the property.
Urschel said that once the city received signed documents from the state and a formal receipt, they would take ownership of the parcels (lots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5).
“After all the paper work is received, we’ll start the project next spring and it should be finished by fall,” he said.