“We still need to dig into the details,” he said. “It’s great to have the approval, but once we can knock out a timeline that works, that’s when we’ll know where we’re at.”
In February, officials said the total mall demolition is estimated at $10.5 million and there is a $2.6 million local match the developer would pay.
The land bank is essentially a pass-through agency for the project. The grant is for 75% of the project’s cost and the developer is required to come up with the remaining 25%, Geisler said. The state’s money is supposed to be spent by May 2023, which he doesn’t anticipate will happen. Geisler said once a timeline is established, they’ll know if they can realistically spend the money by the deadline or have a conversation with state officials.
The land bank next meets on Nov. 14.
Ohio Rep. Sara Carruthers, R-Hamilton, who represents Fairfield in the Statehouse, said the land reutilization funding from the state operating budget will “make Butler County a better place to live.”
“I really believe that these kinds of strong investments are going to make a difference for Ohio families,” she said. “With these grants, we can really work on uplifting our communities to bring viable businesses to our area and create jobs.”
Fairfield Development Services Director Greg Kathman said the city of Fairfield has not received a redevelopment application for the property, which about the northern quarter of the mall sits in Fairfield’s jurisdiction.