UPDATE 5/9/2014 5:15 PM
It's a big step forward, turning unused property in to a veterans memorial and business park in Marietta.
It's all part of an ongoing process by the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority.
The property is located off Route 7 in Reno. The deed to the property is officially handed over from the General Services Administration Friday.
It all concerns property at the abandoned Washington County Memorial U.S. Army Forces Reserve Center.
U.S. Senator Rob Portman and Ohio Congressman Bill Johnson sent a letter July of last year to speed up the sale of the property to allow the Port Authority to sell the property to private investors.
Friday they transferred the deed and the Port Authority is unveiling its plans for the location.
Officials say renovating this property in Reno will help rejuvenate the economy and create jobs in Washington County and help ensure economic development in the area as well.
A big decision for the Southeastern Ohio Port Authority. They have two proposals to consider and they're completely different.
At a public meeting for the Ohio U.S. Army Reserve Center, two companies presented their plans for land development.
The chosen company will have a Public/Private Partnership with the Port Authority. Southeastern Ohio Port Authority officials say grant opportunities have dried up significantly so they are taking a business approach to encourage development. They say this will hopefully create a lot of jobs for the area.
"One is more locally based, another is more regionally based in it's proposal. Probably, the locally based proposal could happen more quickly, the regionally based proposal might take longer, and our problem is to try and evaluate the long term, 10 years from now, what's going to benefit the area the most," said Tom Webster, Port Authority Chairman.
Webster says he does not know when they will be making a decision. He says it is very important that they consider the effect this will have on the community.
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