EAST LIVERPOOL - The initial steps were taken by City Council Monday night toward development of a vacant downtown building into a viable business venture.
By a vote of 6-0, with Councilman Tom Cunningham absent, council adopted an ordinance entering into an agreement with the city's Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) to sell the former McCrory's 5&10 and former Ogilvie's Department Store buildings on East Fifth Street.
Although the city does not own the property, in order for the developer to receive historic tax credits, the city must be part of the "chain of title," according to the explanation provided by Councilman Ryan Stovall and Service-Safety Director Ryan Estell.
Since the city cannot sell property to a particular buyer without competitive bidding, it, in turn, is transferring it to the CIC to sell since that agency can legally sell without competitive bidding.
The CIC, in turn, will transfer the property to Lionmark Liverpool Limited LLC, which will pay its actual owner, C.A.O.H. Commercial Ventures LLC $86,000 for the purchase.
On Sept. 20, a multi-party closing regarding the property is expected to take place, finalizing the sale. Neither the city nor CIC will invest any money in the transaction.
Although officials have not disclosed publicly the intended use for the buildings, it is part of a project that will require the city establish a Tax Increment Financing (TIF) district which encompasses the property.
A TIF district allows for tax revenue generated from improvements to the property to be earmarked for additional improvements and infrastructure. For this reason, both the city and school district - which receives tax revenue from the city - to approve the TIF, which has not yet been done by the school board.
Councilman Sherrie Curtis raised the question Monday night whether or not the Carnegie Public Library, which also receives tax revenue from a levy, needs to be included in efforts to establish the TIF, but Estell said the law only addresses school districts.