Hamilton begins demolition of city-owned homes near Spooky Nook Sports

Credit: Nick Graham

Credit: Nick Graham

After buying dozens of properties on North Second and North Third streets over the years, Hamilton is starting to raze those buildings.

The demolitions are through the Butler County landbank and most are being funded as part of an Ohio Department of Development grant. The demolitions that are paid for by the state grant “will be completed over the coming weeks, not later than mid-March. However, we expect them to be down before then,” said Lauren Nelson, who works on business development for Hamilton’s Economic Development division.

There are four properties owned by the city that were not part of the application, and Nelson said they have been torn down.

The plan is to have most of the parcels cleared in the 800 block of North Second and western side of the 900 block of North Third streets for a parking lot, which would then be transferred to the Hamilton Community Authority, an economic development tool for the city, as reported last summer. Parking revenues generated by the planned parking lot would go to retire the debt issued for the Spooky Nook parking improvements, according to city officials.

Not all the houses in this area of the North End will be razed. There are four other properties that are not owned by the city and are not part of the demolition project, Nelson said. Also not part of this round of demolitions are the dozens of homes the city purchased last summer, she said.

The ODOD grant is paying for 75% of the project, which is toward 16 demolitions. The city’s 25% is anticipated to be just more than $67,000. The cost of acquiring the properties is permitted to be the match, which is what the city will do, Nelson said.

The four additional properties not part of the demolitions cost around $47,000, but this money will be paid with the funds Hamilton has on deposit with the landbank.

While the city is considering a proposal to have a parking lot constructed in this area, Nelson said plans had not been completed at this time.

The parking lot plan was discussed last year when City Council purchased the properties and subsequently rezoned to Entertainment Mixed-Use Planned Development.

The properties being demolished have been on the portfolio for years, some for as long as nearly two decards. Those properties were initially bought for the city’s utility department, then when Spooky Nook at Champion Mill began to develop, city officials said they altered their plans.

Planning Director Liz Hayden said during a late summer City Council meeting that the EM-PUD “allows for greater flexibility” for any future development and doesn’t impact the existing residents.

A parking lot would accommodate existing residential properties and support potential commercial developments and activities along the Great Miami River and at Spooky Nook, city officials said.

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