Middletown considers $11 offer for vacant building

It wasn’t a typo in a first reading of legislation before Middletown City Council last week to sell a building on First Avenue for about $11.

The city received a proposal from Patrick Klancar, owner of MJK Management LLC of Middletown, who said he’d be willing to purchase the property at 1200-1204 First Ave. for $11.39.

While selling this fixer-upper for $11.39 may seem to be a bargain, Klancar said the estimated cost to revitalize the building is about $50,000 with contingencies to create three market-rate apartments on the upper level and three small storefront businesses at the street level. One of those businesses would be his property management office.

In his plan, Klancar said he had $40,000 set aside for this project and that he planned to do much of the work himself as well as being connected to a network of wholesale high-quality building material suppliers.

MORE: Middletown seeks developers for 4 downtown properties

According to Klancar’s proposal, the building is in a state of decay due to a leaky roof and a lack of ongoing maintenance. In addition the interior has a lot of water damage that will require extensive repairs. Klancar said structurally the building seems to be intact per spot inspections. However Klancar said the state of the plumbing, electricity, HVAC is not known as access to the basement was not possible. The building has broken windows, missing siding and a non-secure door.

After completion of this project, Klancar said he would like to acquire additional projects in the surrounding area to revitalize.

City Manager Doug Adkins said Klancar came to the $11.39 amount after taking the Butler County Auditor’s last appraisal of the property and deducting the costs in bringing the building up to current building standards. Adkins said this was preliminary proposal and that a structured development agreement would be developed that would include credits for work done to get the price to where the developers wants it to be.

“It seems to be a nice project,” Adkins said.

Council will consider the proposed agreement for final approval at an upcoming meeting.

Proposed development met with resistance in Middletown

Several properties in the downtown area have been put out for Request for Proposals for redevelopment three times over the past six months. The last round of Request for Proposals resulted in one bid for 1200-1204 First Avenue, as well as a second bid which was incomplete. According to city records, these are the first bids for this property. Last year, the city started putting out RFPs for various properties on a quarterly basis.

According to Matt Eisenbraun, Middletown’s assistant economic development director, said the city acquired the property in July 2013 through the Sheriff’s sale process at no cost to the city.

Properties that do not receive a bid during a first attempt to sell are made available to the city before they go through a second auction attempt,” Eisenbraun said in an email.

He said if there are no bids are received at the second attempt, the property is then forfeited to the state of Ohio.

Eisenbraun said the RFP process is being utilized to sell off city property that is not used or occupied. In addition to the 1200 First Ave. property, the city is trying to sell the following buildings: the former Studio Theatre on Central Avenue; 19 S. Clinton St., and 24 N. Main St.

He said the city sold the old Midtown cabinets on Vail Street last summer. Eisenbraun said the next round of RFP submissions are due April 3.

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