Urban Renewal Authority sells two properties

PARKERSBURG – The Parkersburg Urban Renewal Authority sold two pieces of property Tuesday evening and approved taking two more parcels through eminent domain.

The authority met Tuesday and considered three offers on two vacant properties. Both properties had been claimed by the authority through eminent domain and had structures removed.

Randall Hupp offered $1,000 for a vacant lot at 539 Sixth St., which is adjacent to his property. Norman Moek offered $5,000 for a property at 1709 16th St.. The space butts up against the back of Moek’s property.

A third offer, also on the 16th Street property, was removed after the buyer realized it was the wrong property.

The authority, comprised of nine Parkersburg City Council members, unanimously approved both property sales.

Both new owners said they intend to use the properties as green spaces. Hupp said he may later place a small business on the Sixth Street space.

But sale of both properties comes at a significant loss for the city. Officials said more than $18,000 was spent on court fees and demolition for the Sixth Street parcel, and nearly $31,000 was spent on the 16th Street property.

Councilman John Rockhold, who chairs the Urban Renewal Authority, said such losses are common.

“We always lose money,” he said. “We can never get out of them what we put in them. If we tried, we’d end up holding on to them and losing even more money.”

Rockhold said it is more important to get those properties back into the hands of responsible residents.

“The idea is to take care of this problem, which is urban blight or safety or both, and to get these properties cleaned up and back on the tax roll,” he said.

The authority also unanimously approved requests to take two more properties by eminent domain. Properties at 2434 Dudley Ave. and 2411 Lynn St. were declared “slum and blighted” Tuesday evening, which begins the court process for possession of those properties.

City Development Director Ann Conageski said the Dudley Avenue building has fallen into disrepair and has had numerous code violations dating back to 2002. The Lynn Street property also has had numerous problems and code violations dating back to 2007.