By Allison Collins
SIDNEY — A long-abandoned Sidney building stands to get a new lease on life thanks to purchase by the Delaware County Industrial Development Agency last month.
According to IDA Director Glenn Nealis, the agency closed the deal on what is commonly known as the “old Kmart” structure, located at 135 Delaware Ave, on May 22. Though the deal took an estimated three years, Nealis said, the property is something he has long held in his development sights.
“It’s been vacant more than 18 years and I’ve had my eye on it for 18 years,” he said. “The right circumstances finally came about and we were able to buy it.”
Though Nealis noted that ideas for the building are “still up in the air,” he said: “Within a year or two, we’ll have definite plans for it.”
“We are looking to create a shovel-ready property in relation to a potential project,” Nealis said. “But also, projects come and go all the time, so we are mindful of this one potential use, but we’re still exploring possibilities.” He added: “That may entail fixing up the building as it is or tearing it down – we’ll be looking at that over the next several months.”
Sidney Mayor Andy Matviak, who serves on the seven-member IDA board, said the agency’s purchase will likely prove mutually beneficial.
“From a village perspective, it’s great,” he said, “because we take a building that’s deteriorating and hopefully replace that with another new business.”
Noting that the Sidney Industrial Development Agency and the Delaware County IDA “joined forces about 10 years ago,” Matviak added: “The Delaware County IDA looks at all Delaware County communities and this was a good opportunity for them to acquire a building that has future potential for business and commercial usage.”
Nealis said the building’s viability drove the agency’s ongoing interest.
“It is a prime property in a prime location for redevelopment and it is a large building,” Nealis said. “It’s sat there vacant and unused and I’m hoping that the IDA will be able to more with it than has happened over the last 18 years.”