Lisbon trying to reinvent downtown area by selling old buildings

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"We have all of these beautiful, historical red brick buildings that we need to start taking care of more," one new owner said.

LISBON, Ohio (WKBN) – Getting new businesses to move into the area is always a tough task. The village of Lisbon has had to reinvent itself. It sold six buildings in an effort to build up the downtown area.

They are an eyesore no matter where you go — vacant buildings that used to have some business inside.

“You can go through the downtown, some of the buildings are in deplorable conditions,” said Lisbon Mayor Pete Wilson.

But the village of Lisbon passed two ordinances within the last 10 years. It kept landlords accountable for the buildings, with some owners deciding to just sell them.

Now six of them, five that are vacant, have new owners and new hope.

“The one purchaser, he wants to open his own business. He bought three of the buildings downtown. He has plans for two of them,” Wilson said.

One will be a restaurant and the other will be retail.

The one building that wasn’t vacant now has a realtor on the first floor. Shannon Clark, with the Rosewood Real Estate Group, just moved in this week.

“Having a business in your hometown, to me, is just like the greatest badge of honor and pride,” Clark said.

She’s also open to renting out to another business in the same building, along with having apartments on the third floor.

Many of these buildings are on the older side which, for Clark, attracted her to them.

“That’s what makes Lisbon so special. We have all of these beautiful, historical red brick buildings that we need to start taking care of more,” Clark said.

One building that needed a little TLC is also on the Lincoln Highway. It has a dumpster in front of it from all the trash inside. It has been sitting vacant for 20 years and now has new owners.

“They were cleaning it out this weekend. Three people came by and saw what they were doing and said, ‘Hey, can we rent the building?’ Three people. One wanted to put in a book store, a restaurant and retail,” Wilson said.

If you ask Wilson where he hopes to see Lisbon in April 2022…

“A more active downtown, more businesses. Definitely a breakfast restaurant where I can go for coffee and take clients. That would be great,” Wilson said.

As of now, Lisbon still has seven more buildings up for sale.

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Mel Robbins Main Area Middle

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