BROOKLYN, Ohio — Over the past few years, Brooklyn has been purchasing and demolishing homes located on the eastern side of Tiedeman Road south of Interstate 480.
“We purchase properties as they come available and as owners want to sell,” Brooklyn Director of Economic Development Andi Udris said. “A couple of years ago, we were looking at property to develop in an industrial area, because we have so little of it.
“We came up with the program that basically was voluntary, where if property owners want to sell, the city would purchase at a fair-market value based upon an independent appraisal. We would buy the property and land bank them.
“We don’t have any specific development in mind at this time, because we don’t expect people to be selling the houses,” Udris said.
The economic development program, which as a byproduct provides an anti-blight effort, is tied to the fact that homes located in existing industrial districts can’t be added onto or expanded, leaving existing business and resident owners with limited options.
“The properties aren’t very deep and not very attractive from a residential standpoint because you’re on a busy street,” Udris said.
Recently city-purchased homes — now demolished — were located at 4761 Tiedeman Road ($157,000) and 4747 Tiedeman Road ($42,000).
The latest sale closed last week, with the city spending $135,000 for a house located at 4771 Tiedeman Road.
“The demolition will probably cost from $8,000 to $12,000, depending if there are any surprises such as asbestos or lead paint,” Udris said.
“Our experience is that there have been negligible levels of such contaminants in the other homes, but you won’t really know until you start pulling the building apart.
“The timing (of the demolition) will depend upon the weather, but will be completed in the next few months.”
While the economic development director noted that there isn’t a specific development in mind for the lots, there are a few long-term ideas — including for 4.5 acres located at the corner alongside I-480 — that could eventually come to fruition.
The area in question has three existing houses that Udris said the homeowners have no interest in selling.
“There’s an issue with that land about getting around the restriction by the State of Ohio that because of the concrete barrier, you have to be at least 125 feet from the interchange before you can do a crossover,” Udris said.
“To get around that someday, we’d like to eventually acquire the rest of the homes as they become available so that property someday could be accessed. When you look at the potential development of that corner, an office building — which could be multimillion dollars — would make the neighborhood nicer.”
The other potential use of that land involves creating wetlands to help mitigate flooding at the nearby Sam’s Club on Brookpark Road.
“Because the area from the highway to Biddulph Road was rezoned many years ago to limited industrial, we feel as opportunities come up to purchase the homes we will review those properties,” Mayor Katie Gallagher said.
“However, we’re not out actively seeking to purchase property if it does not coincide with long-term planning.”
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