LIMA — Giving a national retail chain a good deal on land is paying off in surprising ways for the city.A new Dollar General store set to open next month on South Main Street is an example of using city resources to bring development to town and keeping a say in design, said Community Development Director Amy Odum.City Council approved in August selling the two city-owned parcels at 685-691 S. Main St. for $25,000. At the time, the city could not reveal the name of the retailer until a contract was signed. A third-party company represented Dollar General in the deal.“By offering the land at a favorable price, this allowed us the opportunity to ask for other amenities,” Odum said. Those amenities include an investment of close to $20,000 more than they typically spend on a new store. The South Main Street location will have brick facade and fencing that blends with surrounding streetscape, Odum said.“They partered with Kibby Corners Development Corp. on the design so it will make it more consistent with the neighborhood design,” Odum said.The property had been in the city's Land Acquisition and Neighborhood Development Bank since 2006. The city created the bank in 2000 to take tax-delinquent and nonproductive property and return it to tax-generating status.The city demolished buildings on the property and a former movie theater across the street at 702 S. Main St. in September and October 2004. At the time, the 685 S. Main St. property had 19 complaints containing 27 violations from 1993 to 2004 and $8,900 in fines. Because of asbestos removal and the size of the commercial building, the demolition price tag was $80,000.Odum said the Dollar General deal serves as an example of the Land Bank's possibilities.“I hope it provides a model for other businesses that might be interested in the Land Bank program,” Odum said. Goodlettsville, Tenn.-based Dollar General Corp. is the nation's largest “small-box” discount retailer, with 10,000 stores in 40 states. The company operates seven stores in the region, including Lima, Elida, Delphos and Cridersville.Kibby Corners Development Corp. board Chairman Mike Blass applauded the development, saying it's the sort of thing that will revive the neighborhood.“It's a good fit. It will help enhance the neighborhood aesthetically and it's something the residents will take advantage of,” Blass said.That corner and the high traffic intersection lend themselves to a retail business, Blass said. Kibby Corners Development Corp. is working with the city on a zoning plan for the area and Blass said he is pleased that the store fits with that proposed plan.“It's an appropriate use of the space, which is a concern of ours,” Blass said.Last year Kibby Corners Development Corp. sent Lima City Council a letter letting the council know it was beginning work on the plan. That plan will be in the council's hands for a vote by the middle of summer, Blass said.The zoning overlay, which would cover Lima's South Main Street corridor, would be a plan for organizing the zoning along the street in a way that cuts down on conflicting land usage and encourages development.Kibby Corners Development Corp. is not assisting financially with the Dollar General project, but it does have limited funding available for facade improvement on existing buildings. The last project it helped with was an improvement for South Main Street business Bella Notta's Pizza in 2010.You can comment on this story at www.limaohio.com.
Tara Cutlip, 21 and pregnant with her second child, was shot and killed Saturday in her Bahama Drive home. Loved ones gather in front of Tara's home to remember her and speak out against domestic violence.