Warren County readies 296 acres of prison land for 2nd logistics center

Warren County is readying 296 acres of prison land for development as a logistics center. The development is envisioned as similar to one across and slightly west on Ohio 63 where businesses including Amazon are operating large facilities.
Warren County is readying 296 acres of prison land for development as a logistics center. The development is envisioned as similar to one across and slightly west on Ohio 63 where businesses including Amazon are operating large facilities.

Credit: Lawrence Budd

Credit: Lawrence Budd

State-owned land proposed to become a large commercial center off Interstate 75 in Turtlecreek Twp. has been rezoned for economic development use only by Warren County.

Warren County’s Port Authority expects to buy the 296 acres of prison land from Ohio for a development similar to a logistic center across Ohio 63 that houses several massive warehouses.

Turtlecreek Twp. Trustee Jon Sams told commissioners last week the land was one of two economic development corridors the township hopes are developed to help offset the costs of growth otherwise shouldered by residents and other property owners. The township is home to almost 15,000 residents.

Sams said he hopes the county buys the additional state prison land along Ohio 63 when it becomes available.

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“The entire 767 acres is very important to Turtlecreek Twp. We don’t have a very wide commercial base,” Sams said.

JoEllen Smith, spokesperson for the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, confirmed the prison didn’t object to the rezoning sought by township and county officials and approved unanimously Tuesday by the commissioners.

The change eliminated other uses permitted for the land, according to the township’s land-use plan.

“That’s the biggest change,” Sams said, explaining officials “expect an early economic development win.”

The uses will “lighten” to offices and other types of commercial activity for land to the east on Ohio 63, leading to the Ohio 741 intersection and then on into Lebanon.

Earlier this year, state lawmakers extended the sale deadline for 296 acres of the land, just east of the Miami Valley Gaming racino. Smith said the state “has no current plans for the remainder of the land.”

While economic development along Ohio 63 continues to flourish, Sams said the township’s other development corridor, off the Ohio 123 interchange at Interstate 71, east of Lebanon, lacked infrastructure to support large businesses or other development.

No details were available on the new logistics center development, envisioned as similar to Park North at Monroe, a fully developed 429-acre business and logistics park, across Ohio 63 from the 296-acre site.

The prison land fronts on Ohio 63, as well as on Union Road, north of the racino property.

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About 1,800 have been employed at businesses, including an Amazon fulfillment center, provided tax incentives and other public assistance at Park North across the street. Most of the 10 buildings are owned by the Warren County Port Authority and leased to the management company.

Sams indicated similar incentives - including a Joint Economic Development District through which workers’ earnings are taxed to pay for improvements - will likely be used at the new site.

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