MANSFIELD ─ The Richland County Land Bank board voted to transfer Betzstone Park to Chauncey Holt on Wednesday, paving the way for the new developer to construct his first rental housing in Mansfield.
The parcel, located at 99 Betzstone Drive, is about 0.37 acres, according to the land bank. It was one of the 10 under-utilized parks that the City of Mansfield donated to the organization in October.
The land bank approved to transfer Betzstone Park to Holt for $1,000, plus the recording fee, at a meeting on Wednesday afternoon.
Holt said he recently moved to Mansfield from Nevada with his wife, Mallory, and their three young daughters. He said the family came here for a visit and was excited about what they saw in the community, including the land bank’s effort in revitalization.
The couple plan to build a three-bedroom-duplex on the parcel, Holt said, and start the construction in the first quarter of next year.
The developer said he wants to build rental housing compliant with Americans with Disabilities Act and work with local organizations focusing on the area and find the tenants.
The Betzstone project will show what types of homes they want to build, Holt said, and help build relationships with existing companies and groups.
“When I was driving through the community, researching Mansfield…there are a lot of different individual landlords. I think there's a lot of competition in the regular rental market,” Holt said.
“And I think this is an underserved market (ADA-compliant housing). We can provide some housing and fill a need.”
In addition, the land bank agreed to sell Belmont Community Church salvage rights to seven pieces of playground equipment at Hamilton and Betzstone Parks for $1,000.
Amy Hamrick, the land bank’s manager, said the church plans to place the equipment across the street from its location on Belmont Avenue. The church also owns that parcel and wants to create a new park there.
Hamrick said the project would benefit the community because nearby Julia Underhill and Hamilton Parks will close soon.
The board also approved to transfer two parcels on Longview Avenue to the North End Community Improvement Collaborative for $500 plus the recording fee on Wednesday.
Deanna West-Torrence, founder and executive director for NECIC, told Richland Source that the organization has been assembling parcels in that area for its affordable housing project.
She said NECIC has been working with consultants to move the project forward, but it is not ready to share further information.