City is taking action to develop riverfront

With one Tiffin City Council member abstaining, the president of council cast a tie-breaking vote Monday night. Thus, the result of the vote on whether the city should buy a pair of properties at 25 E. Market St. read more like a double-play combination from a ball hit back to the mound: 4-3-1.

That was fitting, being opening day, as well as rare. What isn’t as unusual is a plan by the city to purchase property as a way to attract business.

The municipality has used similar investments to spur development, although typically that has involved manufacturers. The intent with the decision Monday night is to clear the way for a retail business to locate downtown.

Seneca Industrial and Economic Development Corp. has signed a deal to buy the former Stalsworth and Pryzm hotel along with the warehouse behind it for $120,000. The two buildings lie next to a city parking lot next to the Sandusky River.

The city is to use money from its Venture Capital Fund to make the purchase. Next, funds will need to be secured to raze the buildings, which would make way for new construction.

This not only would accelerate redevelopment – who doesn’t remember the slow deterioration of the former department store where Lowe’s Home Improvement now stands? – but also serve as a catalyst for more revitalization downtown.

Talk about turning the double play.