Allen County leaders are hoping to sell a piece of prime real estate for a pretty penny, and the move could set off a chain reaction to re-purpose several county facilities.
"It's valuable to the county and it has only appreciated over the last 10 years," Allen County Commissioner Therese Brown says.
She says as Huntertown, Northwest Allen County Schools, and the State Road 3 corridor continue to grow, the county's 135 acres at Lima and Carroll Roads are prime real estate.
The now privately-run Byron Health Center sits on the property, as does the county's work release program, but there are plans to move both in the coming years freeing the county to sell the site, which has lots of possible uses.
"Commercial, maybe a portion possibly is a level of residential. Maybe more apartment complex, if you will, because that is something that is sorely needed in that particular area. And even potentially light industrial," Brown says.
She says Byron Health Center's leaders have purchased several acres from Crossroad Child and Family Services off Lake Avenue, just east of the VA hospital, in order to grow as a long-term healthcare facility and perhaps branch into skilled nursing.
It could also help employees by being on a bus line.
In turn, that move opens the door for the county to generate revenue.
"It gives us, Allen County, the opportunity of what's next for us over the next two to three years, assuming everything works out for them, what we would like to see doing with that parcel," she says.
The county owns property on Adams Center Road, where it could construct a new building for the work release program.
The county highway department's north barn, vector control, and storage areas might be relocated from the Lima Road site, as well, but the old cemetery would remain from Byron Health's era as a tuberculosis hospital.
Brown hopes the work release program could move next summer and that the new Byron Health facility could be ready to move into Lake Avenue in 2020, giving developers time to envision a new use for prized property that used to be on the very outskirts of town.