TROTWOOD, Ohio (WDTN) – The group in Trotwood will soon take control of the roughly 76 acre property that was once the Salem Mall.
The Trotwood Community Improvement Corporation owns most of the land but has not officially purchased the 16-acre property where Sears once stood.
If and when they close on the 16-acre property, it will be easier to sell the entire area.
Within the last four months, the Trotwood CIC, headed by Fred Burkhardt, has worked to acquire the closed-up and tornado-dinged building.
“All of a sudden, 127,000 square feet, we are now talking about a serious opportunity to actually do something on the mall,” said Burkhardt.
Burkhardt says the former Salem Mall site could play a major role in shaping this community for generations to come.
“We are essentially opening up a second front of development,” Burkhardt said. “Which candidly, is really critical because it is the crossroads.”
With Salem and Shiloh Springs roads bringing traffic to the area, Burkhardt says investors are interested and that the city is looking for ways to combat the food desert while making Trotwood a place to call home.
“Ideally we would see a mix of housing and certain types of industry, not heavy industry,” said Burkhardt.
Burkhardt says the area needs jobs.
However, he says plans for this development nearly froze because of the tornadoes.
“The first offer was $80,000,” Burkhardt said. “Then the tornado hit.”
“We went, ‘Oh my Goodness, how much is the damage?’ So then we offered $50,000.”
The damage proved to be minimal and Sears settled for $70,000. Montgomery County estimates the building’s value at $400,000.
Sears creditors have until July 31 to object to the sale.