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Council Approves Trolley Barn Grant, Construction Of New Rec Center And New City Building

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City of Columbus
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Columbus City Council last night approved a 143-thousand dollar grant to help rehabilitate six dilapidated trolley barns near Franklin Park. The 3-acre site at the corner of Oak Street and Kelton Avenue is home to six deteriorating brick buildings once used to store and repair trolleys. Local real estate broker Brad DeHays and Trolley Barn LLC must use the money for Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments and an asbestos survey. DeHays says the grant will enable the site to be redeveloped for mixed use.

DeHays bought the site earlier this year for 337 thousand dollars from Minnie McGee after many years of legal wrangling and neighborhood complaints about the condition of the structures.  City officials and neighbors have called the site a magnet for drug deals, prostitution and other crimes. Neighbors have complained of falling bricks and roof slates that flow into their homes and yards, as well as collapsing roof trusses and window panels. Council also approved a 10.6 million dollar contract to renovate an industrial site to house some city operations, including snowplows and code-enforcement. The city purchased the land at 1355 McKinley Avenue last year after threatening the owners with eminent domain, in order to move those operations out of the Arena District. Construction is expected to begin in November. Council also approved a 7.2 million dollar contract to build a new Glenwood Recreation Center on the West side. Recreation and Parks director Alan McKnight says the new one-story facility will include gymnasiums, an auditorium, a parking lot, and outdoor basketball courts.

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Construction is expected to begin next year.

Jim has been with WCBE since 1996. Before that he worked as a reporter at another Columbus radio station, and for three newspapers in Southwest Florida.
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