As part of our Healthy Properties, Rebuilding Communities Initiative, GOPC is developing state policy reforms that will assist communities in stabilizing commercial properties. Commercial properties—strip malls, urban core buildings with retail or commercial activity on the first floor and residential space on upper floors, office buildings and other non-industrial properties—pose unique challenges for redevelopment, but are a valuable resource in a state where sparking entrepreneurialism, training and retaining the workforce, and attracting businesses are key economic development strategies. Building on our expertise in residential property stabilization and redevelopment, Greater Ohio is now researching practices and policies that will assist communities in returning vacant commercial properties to productive use. We are currently investigating ways to reform code enforcement statutes, hold owners accountable for neglected properties and identify ways to support the demolition or rehabilitation of vacant properties.
GOPC is also partnering with the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF)’s Urban Development x, to develop a Vacant Commercial Property Reuse Toolkit. This Toolkit will support economic and community development teams and nonprofits, local and state policymakers and community groups as they work to transition vacant commercial property into productive reuse that is strategically linked to community economic development goals.
Addressing the commercial vacant and abandoned properties challenge is an essential revitalization component for Ohio by providing key sites for economic and business redevelopment. During the next 8 months to a year, Greater Ohio Policy Center will uncover and document solutions that lead to putting the pivotal commercial properties in our cities and communities back to use. Check our website and newsletter often for updates and reports on our research.