Saturday, October 12, 2002

Lockland gets grant to reuse property




By Allen Howard
The Cincinnati Enquirer

LOCKLAND — This northwest Cincinnati suburb — among the most active in the state in urban brownfield redevelopment — has been awarded a $2 million gran to clear and redevelop the old Fox Paper facility, known as the American Tissue Site, at Lock and South Cooper streets.

The village was among 16 applicants from around the state to be selected for funds by the Clean Ohio Council, said Evonne Kovach, village administrator.

“Redevelopment of the property has been part of the village's long-term development strategy,” Ms Kovach said. “Land will be available for new commercial and industrial development on three of the corners at that intersection.”

She said the corner sites range in size from 1.5 to 2.25 acres.

Of 125 acres of old industrial land, known as brownfields, the village has cleared, about 20 acres have been redeveloped.

The village became a brownfield pioneer when it created the first state-approved rehabilitation project for its Commerce Park in 1997 along the Interstate 75 corridor.

Lockland's effort was key to the creation of the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund, which was created after Ohio voters approved legislation in 2000 to provide for bonds to assist with the cleanup of unproductive brownfield sites.

Lockland Mayor Jim Brown said the grant will help get rid of hazardous structures.

“We also believe there will be a positive economic spinoff on the small neighborhood business district,” Mr. Brown said.

He said small storefronts nearby have been mostly vacant since industry left the area in the early 1990s.

Mr. Brown said the cleared property will accommodate three to five commercial and industrial users, offering good interstate exposure. The village bought the property in September 2000. It had been an eyesore and a public safety hazard for 14 years, since Fox Paper left the area.

E-mail ahoward@enquirer.com



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