New Hope Industries purchases former Montessori school property
MOUNT VERNON — New Hope Industries has a new home.
NHI Assistant CEO Angie Wise said Thursday that the non-profit closed on a 10,500 square feet facility at 12200 Upper Fredericktown Road Wednesday.
While it is much smaller than the 35,000 square feet NHI has now in its current location on Newark Road, Wise said the focus on the new facility will be retaining the services NHI currently offers.
“We are re-thinking how to reconfigure into a smaller space and how to continue our services there,” Wise said. “There will not be any considerable change in services.”
(A statement to the community from Wise appears on today’s editorial page.)
NHI has been searching for a new home since its current location was sold for $1.05 million to AMG Industries through the Knox County Land Bank. The land bank was acting agent for the county, which owns the building.
NHI placed an undisclosed bid for the current location, but AMG was chosen by the land bank as the buyer. The land bank, under Ohio law, has the ability of selecting the buyer without following the public bid process. In the case of the sale of the Newark Road building, the decision was made in executive session and only AMG’s bid amount was disclosed.
Knox Developmental Disabilities will get 90 percent of the sale proceeds, with the land bank getting 10 percent. DD has pledged $250,000 to NHI, once the sale goes through.
Jeff Gottke, land bank president, said the sale has not been completed and AMG has until December to finalize it. Gottke said AMG will write two checks for the sale: One to the land bank, and one to Knox DD.
The $250,000 promised to NHI was intended for NHI’s acquisition of a new location, or for renovations at a new location, Gottke said.
NHI has been operating under a lease at the current location through the Knox County Board of Knox DD. It was NHI’s home for 30 years.
By purchasing the building at 12200 Upper Fredericktown Road, NHI has secured for itself a home that can’t be sold out from under them.
The Upper Fredericktown Road building was formerly a doctor’s office and Montessori School. It was sold in 2010 to an out-of-state buyer for $895,000, who has owned it up to now.
Wednesday’s sale will be recorded with the Knox County Auditor within the next 30 days. The sale price was not a matter of public record as of Thursday.
Wise said that of several locations viewed, the Upper Fredericktown Road site was the one that was closest to “move-in ready”. It will need renovations, and NHI is already talking with engineers to design plans for the building.
The county’s decision to sell the Newark Road building took NHI by surprise. Wise, who will take over as CEO of NHI after Dennis Eggerton retires at the end of the year, will lead the move to the new facility and said the future looks bright.
“I am very grateful for Dennis’s guidance over the last several months and I will build on that foundation,” Wise said. “I’m excited for the future of NHI into the next generation.”
According to information from the auditor’s office, the Upper Fredericktown Road building was constructed in 1990. It is essentially two parts, a large classroom area measuring 7,745 square feet and an office area measuring 2,350 square feet. The classroom area will host NHI’s parts assembly and packaging services, Wise said, and the smaller area will be offices.
NHI provides work for individuals with developmental disabilities. The work includes contracts with several local industries.
NHI was given until spring of 2020 to move. Wise said she is optimistic that the deadline can be met.
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