Ohio University is in the process of purchasing the old Athens Lumber Company property on West Union Street and hopes to turn it into a parking lot.
John Kotowski, director of facilities planning at OU, confirmed Wednesday that the university is interested in buying the land.
?We?ve made an offer on the property,? Kotowski said. The offer had been accepted by a representative of the corporation that owns the Athens Lumber property, but the man recently passed away so the university is now working out details with members of the corporation, Kotowski said.
?Basically we would like to use it as parking, to help us address the parking issue on campus,? Kotowski said. ?We would clear the site.?
In addition to working out details with the corporation that runs Athens Lumber and owns the property, OU also will have to have purchase of the property approved by the State Controlling Board, which oversees purchases by state universities.
?It will be a couple of months on our end,? he said about the processes the university has to go through to purchase the land. There is no set date to have the land cleared and the parking lot in place, since the university has not even bought the property yet. Kotowski said, however, that it will be a big benefit when completed. ?We think that it will generate between 225 and 275 parking spaces,? he said. ?It will help a great deal.?
Speculation around Athens recently was that the land would be used for a housing project, but Kotowski said it is only planned to be used for more parking spaces, something the university desperately needs.
The Athens Lumber Company was a longtime Athens businesses that closed several months ago. The property is located at 169 W. Union St.