Prairie Township aims to take over motel
Prairie Township is getting help to move along the negotiations on the former Hometown Inn property for their South Grener Avenue project.
Prairie Township Trustees approved the hiring of G. Franklin Hinkle, of the Robert Weiler Company, at their Oct. 6 meeting.
Trustees hope Hinkle will help speed up negotiations for the township to take ownership of the property. He will act as a consultant and representative for the township.
The township will hire him at $50 per hour, with no more than $10,000 being spent on the consultant.
“I think we need to look at somebody to intervene in this because we are getting no where fast,” Trustee Ron Ball said.
Hinkle specializes in complex real estate valuations for eminent domain, ad valorem tax, and special purpose matters for court testimony.
The Hometown Inn, a former motel that closed its doors more than two years ago, is located at 4601W. Broad St., at the southwest corner of Grener Avenue.
The property is currently owned by Krishna Choudhary, through Mahasagar, Inc. Back taxes are owed on the property, according to Prairie Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker.
The Franklin County Auditor and the prosecuting attorney have been working on foreclosure on the property for over two years, according to Hatmaker. During that time the township has been trying to purchase the land.
The township plans on demolishing the Hometown Inn and realigning South Grener Avenue through the property.
The project will leave three of the nearly 5 acres for the township to build on once the road project is complete.
Hatmaker said, “It’s very important that we have somebody that can make sure they understand where the township stands without making it look like the township is trying to threaten them into making an offer.”
Broker Jason Sauer of CB Richard Ellis did not want to comment on the subject due to a pending negotiation, but he did say the property has generated some interest.
The property is listed as available through CB Richard Ellis for a selling price of $1.75 million.
Hatmaker believes no one else will purchase the land. He also believes the township could pursue eminent domain actions to acquire the property.
“We are continuing to push to acquire that property to finish the Grener Avenue project,” Hatmaker said.