Fighting Blight: Land Bank has readily available lots to sell

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IRONTON, Ohio (WOWK) — What was once blight is now prime real estate. The Lawrence County Land Bank hosted a public forum on Thursday, January 16, 2020, to inform residents and developers about available lots throughout the county.

A total of 35 properties are currently ready to be sold, but the land bank expects that number to grow to 77 by the end of 2020.

“We’re talking about taking a house that was a zombie house, or a real eyesore in the neighborhood devaluing neighbors’ property,” said Lawrence County Land Bank Chairman Stephen Burcham. “Knocking [the structure] down and turning it into a vacant lot by itself is [improving] the value of the surrounding neighborhood.”

Properties are available in Ironton, Hanging Rock, South Point, Rome Township, and Proctorville to name a few.

The hope is to sell these properties at a fair price to the buyer and the land bank, which officials say will be cheaper than going through a realtor.

 “What we’d like to do is hope that we’d have 77 individuals or houses that are built from that, which will increase the value of the neighborhood so that somebody can come in there and start dreams for themselves,” Burcham said.

Profits made from sales go back into the land bank for demolitions and revitalization of other parcels.

The Lawrence County Land Bank is planning more public meetings throughout the county and hope to have dates by the end of the month.

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