New Austin exit development has old flavor

MIAMI TOWNSHIP, Ohio (WDTN) — It seems everywhere you look are new projects being green lighted around the Austin Boulevard exit, but sometimes the old developments still have something to offer.

“They just don’t build them like this anymore,” says Deborah McKee with Five Rivers MetroParks.

Five Rivers is renovating a more than 150-year old house with the goal of getting a business to occupy it.

“You get some great views from the house,” McKee says. “We get a lot of traffic through here. We have the bikeway parking just a few feet away so we think this will be a great opportunity for someone to partner with us.”

The home is so old the road there, Medlar, is named after the home’s first owners.

Workers from Matheson Renovations are stripping away the layers of paint on the outside to reveal the home’s brick exterior.

So how did a park system end up becoming a home flipper?

McKee says the house was part of 109 acres bought by Five Rivers a few years ago using state grant money.

The land is now part of the Five Rivers conservation area and has a bike path running through it, but officials needed to find a use for the house, so they’re paying $27,000 in tax dollars for the renovation.

We wanted to know if it’s worth it.

McKee says it is.

“It’s much cheaper than an outright demolition,” McKee says.

The work is expected to be finished by the end of the month.

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