Clark County to back $3M loan for possible Upper Valley Mall deals

Clark County commissioners have agreed to back a $3 million loan to the Clark County land bank for future real estate purchases, possibly at the Upper Valley Mall.

No specific redevelopment plans are secured yet, Commissioner Rick Lohnes said, but they want to some make sure options are open to the Clark County Land Reutilization Corp in the mall area.

MORE: Clark County Land Bank to buy old Macy’s at Upper Valley Mall

“There are no purchase agreements floating around but there are options,” Lohnes said. “We want to make sure if we get the chance to do the right thing out there, the land bank needs the capability to do that.”

If the land bank were to default on the loan, the guaranty will be drawn from the county’s general fund, according to the legislation approved last week.

The land bank is a nonprofit organization set up by Clark County that can take foreclosed properties and either demolish structures or rehabilitate them to make them reusable.

Clark County will back the loan allowing the land bank to potentially purchase property in the future and will be repaid once a buyer is found, Lohnes said.

RELATED: $44M youth sports complex might go in at Upper Valley Mall site

RELATED: Upper Valley Mall movie theater closes after decades

A similar guaranty was made in December of 2016 when the land bank purchased the former Macy’s property at the Upper Valley Mall for $250,000. The Macy’s property includes the roughly 80,000-square-foot former department store and attached warehouse, and about 14 acres of mostly parking lot valued at about $1.54 million, according to the Clark County Auditor’s Office.

Commissioners voted last week to pay off the $250,000 loan because it was racking up nearly $30 per day in interest, Lohnes said. The loan is being paid from the county’s economic development fund, he said.

“We’ll pay that off rather than sit on it and eat the interest,” he said.

The land bank is lining itself up in case its in a similar position to buy more property at the Upper Valley Mall as it did with Macy’s, Clark County Land Reutilization Corp. Executive Director Tom Hale said.

“Those conversations are ongoing but there isn’t anything in writing,” he said.

Upper Valley Mall manager Brenda Labonte declined to comment.

In January of 2015, both Macy’s and J.C. Penney announced plans to close their locations in the Upper Valley Mall just one day apart. The back-to-back announcements were a major blow to the mall, which has served area residents for more than four decades. The Springfield store was among 14 nationwide that Macy’s closed at the time, affecting about 80 employees locally.

The Upper Valley Mall — Clark County’s retail hub since 1971 and valued at more than $20 million in 2012 — slipped into receivership in 2014 after former owner Simon Management Associates defaulted on a $47 million loan.

It was sold for $2.65 million in December of 2015 to New Upper Valley Associates LLC. The sale didn’t include the current space occupied by Sears or the former Macy’s property.


Springfield commission goals include housing study, fixing roads

Should Springfield fluoridate its drinking water?

Study calls for new bike trail, safer park crossing in Clark County

Local officials look for options to improve housing stock

Springfield leaders to discuss changes to requirements for landlords

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Politics

Clark County Fairgrounds to get $50K grant to re-brand
Clark County Fairgrounds to get $50K grant to re-brand

The Clark County Convention Facilities Authority will move ahead with a plan to provide $50,000 in funding to re-brand the Clark County Fairgrounds. But board members said at a meeting Thursday they had reservations about other proposals to provide funding to the Master Gardeners of Clark County and the Springfield Museum of Art. They tabled discussions...
Defense gets major increase, pay raise for troops in budget plan
Defense gets major increase, pay raise for troops in budget plan

Congress has passed a massive spending bill which includes $700 billion for defense, spends billions more on aircraft, ships and tanks and provides a 2.4 percent pay hike for troops. The $60 billion increase in military spending is the biggest in 15 years. The budget plan also includes $300 million to continue cleaning the Great Lakes, $400 million...
Ohio lawmaker seeks change: In some cases ‘it’s legal to rape your spouse’
Ohio lawmaker seeks change: In some cases ‘it’s legal to rape your spouse’

Eliminating Ohio’s spousal rape exemption is under consideration again, this time with bipartisan support as some lawmakers say the state still has an “appalling and disgusting” law on the books. “In Ohio, in some circumstances, it’s legal to rape your spouse,” said state Rep. Kristin Boggs. “It’s appalling...
FBI investigated Jeff Sessions for possible perjury: reports
FBI investigated Jeff Sessions for possible perjury: reports

The FBI investigated U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions for possible perjury last year amid allegations that he misled lawmakers about his contacts with Russians ahead of the 2016 presidential election, according to multiple reports. The investigation into Sessions started before the appointment of special counsel Robert Mueller, who is tasked with...
Lawmakers vote to cut state funding from cities using traffic cameras
Lawmakers vote to cut state funding from cities using traffic cameras

Ohio lawmakers passed a bill Wednesday to put up more hurdles for cities that want to use automated cameras to enforce traffic laws House Bill 410 is the latest effort by state Rep. Bill Seitz, R-Cincinnati, to staunch use of the cameras that supporters say help make roads safer and opponents call modern-day speed traps designed to rake in revenue...
More Stories