The city of Columbus’ purchase of the Fair Oaks Mall property is imminent.
The city of Columbus partnered with Columbus Regional Health and Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County to offer to purchase the more than 35 acre site for $5.9 million. The current breakdown of costs is $4,087,500 from the city, $1,362,500 from CRH and $450,000 from Heritage Fund: The Community Foundation of Bartholomew County. Heritage Fund offered the assistance after a pair of appraisals put the value of the site at approximately $5.45 million. By law, cities and municipalities are not allowed to spend more on property for more than it appraises for.
The city council voted unanimously on Oct. 16th to create the non-profit group, Fair Oaks Community Development Corporation. Mary Ferdon, the city’s director of administration, says there are eight directors, with the city getting six and CRH getting two. Mayor Jim Lienhoop says the goal is to create an indoor sports facility for the parks department, enhanced by an on-site a CRH facility. The specifics of how and what the site will be developed into has yet to be established. That work is expected to begin in earnest after the property ownership is transferred.
Ferdon says that due diligence was done on the city’s part. She explains that inspections of the building turned up nothing unexpected and that an environmental study of the site showed there is no reason the purchase move forward. City officials add that leases at the mall are being honored and that no retailer is being forced out immediately by the impending purchase.
Barring any delays, Ferdon says the sale will be closed on Dec. 14th.