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*STORY UPDATED 3PM 7/28/21*
Chillicothe Mayor Luke Feeney has asked city council for $300,000 to buy the land once occupied by Tiffin Elementary School, off South Bridge Street.
Goodwill Industries of South Central Ohio had purchased the land earlier this year, but has since decided to locate a proposed warehouse and distribution center elsewhere.
Goodwill CEO Marvin Jones stated in a release sent to Litter Media; “After reviewing our plans for the Tiffin property, it became more apparent that the Gateway Industrial Park on Ohio 104 would be better suited for our warehouse and any future expansion. We are working with the Community Improvement Corporation to acquire land there and hope to begin construction before the end of the year. While we are disappointed we couldn’t make the Tiffin property work, we are sure that the city will find ways to improve that neighborhood.”
In a request for the matter to be assigned to council committee, Mayor Feeney stated the following in a letter to Council President Bruce Arnold; “The property in question presents a unique opportunity for the City to play a serious role in the future development of the neighborhood and our community.”
“It is not often that parcels of land of this size become available in the City, and I believe there will be significant benefit in the City controlling that property, especially in the context of the context of our upcoming master plan process”, Feeney said.
Litter Media reached out to Mayor Feeney for a comment concerning the possible interest by the City of Chillicothe, to which he responded:
“Through the process of getting the Tiffin property rezoned Goodwill was a very proactive community partner in terms of their communication and willingness to listen to their neighbors’ opinions on the future use of the former school site. It quickly became very clear that rezoning the entire site to be industrial was not a good fit for the location, so Goodwill reworked its request to something that was palatable and a decent fit for the neighborhood. When Goodwill ultimately decided that another location was a better fit for their new facility, I thought it was a good opportunity to have an impact on a neighborhood from a city planning perspective that doesn’t come along very often. I engaged in conversation with Marvin Jones, Goodwill’s CEO and he expressed his and his board’s interest in a positive community outcome for that property. There is an ongoing community study on our housing situation, and that has made the opportunity for housing development in that area the thing that sticks out most in my mind for an end use, but I haven’t ruled anything out. I also think that the master plan process that we are starting will help inform the future use of this land.“
The actual purchase price of the land would be $290,000 with the other $10,000 going to closing, inspection and other purchase related fees.