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Montgomery County gets $11M to raze 260 properties, gut 2 Dayton office towers

The property on 116 Paisley showing fire damage.
Montgomery County Land Bank
Montgomery County Land Bank
The property on 116 Paisley showing fire damage. The property was abandoned before suffering from arson. It remained standing for years before being demolished as a part of the Ohio Building and Site Revitalization Program.

The Montgomery County Land Bank will receive more than $11 million to tear down more than 260 blighted properties.

The money is part of the Ohio Building and Site Revitalization Program. This latest round will pay to tear down nearly 600 buildings in 15 counties.

That brings the statewide total number of demolition projects to 2,699 projects in 87 counties. Last year, 825 projects were announced in October and 2,275 projects in December.

The Montgomery County Land Bank worked with local communities to identify properties to target. One big project is the Lofty Oaks Lane condos, which were destroyed in the Memorial Day tornadoes in 2019.

Most of the other projects are homes, many of which have been abandoned since the 2008 financial crisis.

“Many of the communities have some of these properties,” said Susie Crabill, the project manager with the Montgomery County Land Bank. “They fought with the owners for a long time to try and get them to do something. This (will) finally provide some means to force the ownership to address the problem.”

The grant funding also offers the land bank an opportunity to try something it's never done before — interior demolitions.

“We have a couple office buildings in downtown Dayton on Main Street that we are not tearing down, but we are going in and removing the asbestos,” Crabill said.

Those properties are 34 N. Main St. and 45 S. Main St. — two downtown towers that have sat vacant for years.

By removing the asbestos, some of the liability and cost is reduced for an interested buyer. This makes a revitalization project a developer might have in mind — office space, apartments or anything else — much easier and affordable.

Crabill said demolition has started or will begin soon on around 100 sites. Most still do not have any plans for future developments.

Garrett is a WYSO intern and graduate of University of Dayton. He spent time covering the Dayton area with WDTN Channel 2 News after the 2019 Memorial Day Tornado outbreak. It was around this time that he began listening to NPR and fell in love with radio-based journalism. Garrett graduated from UD in May of 2021 with his Bachelor’s in Communications with a focus in journalism and graduated in May of 2022 with his Master’s. While not working at WYSO, Garrett is an avid reader, loves to play video games, and hanging out with his friends.