Offers Made on Two East Liverpool Properties

EAST LIVERPOOL, Ohio — Offers have been made to purchase the former East Liverpool Motor Lodge and the former Riverview Florist property, members of the Community Improvement Corporation’s property management committee learned at a recent special meeting.

During the Aug. 3 meeting, CIC Executive Director William Cowan presented a lengthy agenda filled with items of interest to the committee, including a real estate purchase contract for the Motor Lodge at 2340 Dresden Ave.

The $500,000 purchase offer was made on the Motor Lodge by TRK Properties, an Austintown-based firm. The firm paid $5,000 in earnest money and proposed a $295,000 down payment followed by paying the remaining $200,000 in monthly installments over five years at 2.5% interest.

The committee took no action on the proposal. TRK CEO Tom Ivany was asked about the offer several days following the meeting, but he said it was too early to comment on what plans his company might have for the property since no agreement had yet been reached. The company operates On Demand Counseling in downtown East Liverpool.

The property was gifted to the CIC in December by Eli Gunzburg who had purchased it in 2016 with plans of transforming the former motel, restaurant, bar and health club into an assisted living community. It closed in 2014 and sat empty until Gunzburg purchased it.

Despite investing $2 million into the property, Gunzburg told CIC officials in December the uncertainty presented by COVID and rising construction costs had caused his plans to become “unrealistic.”

The building was constructed by the Alsan Corporation in 1982, with the nearly nine acres of property annexed into the city to acquire water and sewer utilities. It was last appraised at $1.7 million, according to the county auditor’s website.

Cowan dvised the committee a new purchase agreement had been received from John R. Woomer for the former Riverview Florist property on Parkway, which was transferred by the city in 2013 to the CIC for redevelopment purposes. Cowan said he should be getting the agreement from the law director “shortly” and did not divulge the details.

The CIC had voted 8-6 against Woomer’s previous offer of $500,000 cash for the property, although Cowan said at the time he fully expected to pursue a purchase agreement after more discussion with Woomer.

In other matters, Cowan told the committee a quote had been received for less than $4,000 to clean out the Thompson Building located on Devon’s Diamond. “I’d like to get started on that,” he said.

The historic building was also acquired by the CIC in hopes of selling it for development. Mayor Greg Bricker said he has met with Susan Weaver, director of the Museum of Ceramics, who would like to use its storefront windows for museum displays.

“If we could move forward with the cleaning, she could get in there,” Bricker said.

Spending the money for cleaning would also be “important for taking potential buyers through the building,” according to Lisa Blasdel, committee member and executive director of the Southern Columbiana County Regional Chamber of Commerce.

No action was taken to make a recommendation about the cleaning quote to the full CIC board.

The committee did vote unanimously in favor of two requests from Mayor Bricker to accept properties at 812 Division St. and 1058 Ephraim St. so they can be demolished. The structure on Division Street, particularly, “needs to come down,” Bricker said.

He had been working with a local real estate agent to have the properties transferred to the CIC, he said.

Kevin Kerr of Kerr and Sons Developers said a “ballpark figure” to demolish both properties was $5,000 each, Bricker advised, and funds from the Potter Progress program could be used instead of CIC funding.

A meeting of the full CIC board to consider these topics has not been scheduled.

Copyright 2022 The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.