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100 homes to be built on historic Sayler Park farm

SAYLER PARK, Ohio (Angenette Levy) -- A historic farm on Hillside Dr. could be the site of a new neighborhood in Sayler Park.

The Sehlhorst family bought the 26-acre farm several years ago from the Ritter family with plans to develop it. But the recession slowed them down. A pre-Civil War era barn on the farm will stay.  Plans for the "Winding Walks of Sayler Park" include 100 LEED certified homes.

"We used to buy our Halloween pumpkins down here. We were in the community. We knew George Ritter," said David Sehlhorst. "Primarily it's going to be geared toward empty-nesters, ranch style homes."

The Sehlhorsts want their new neighborhood to be part of revitalizing the Sayler Park business district on Gracely Ave. Sehlhorst and Keller Williams Realtor Maryann Ries said they plan to build sidewalks in the neighborhood that would connect it to other streets such as Cherokee Ave. The business district is several blocks from that street.

"As we've talked about many times we're not just building homes. We're building a community and really reinvigorating Sayler Park," Ries said.

Several businesses operate on Gracely Ave. including United Dairy Farmers, a bakery and a hardware store. Ries and Sehlhorst want the city to help with the project by convincing new businesses such as a coffee shop and restaurants to open on Gracely Ave.

A spokesperson with Mayor John Cranley's office said he'd seen preliminary plans for the development but hadn't made a decision on whether he would support it.  But Mark Alloway lives on Cherokee Ave. near the old Ritter Farm property. He doesn't want 100 new homes built near his property.

"The neighborhood's quiet at night. The kids can run and play. It's quaint and I think it will add a whole new - too much busy," Alloway said. He added, "I think a hundred houses is a lot of houses in that small area. It's only 26 acres."

Meanwhile, Maryann Ries and David Sehlhorst believe there's enough room. Ground will be broke on the project in August. Construction on the homes could start in December.

"We want to see Sayler Park be what it can be. That it's never had the opportunity to be," Sehlhorst said.

The homes will be eligible for 15-year tax abatements. The homes will range in price from $250,000 to $350,000.

The Sayler Park Village Council will discuss the proposed development at its meeting on Monday, June 2.

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