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City of Jackson sells land near Optimist Park to Indianapolis developer

Optimist Park
Posted at 5:41 PM, Oct 12, 2021

JACKSON, Mich. — The city of Jackson sold property at 915 N. West Ave between the Burger King and Optimist Park to an Indianapolis developer for $1.5 million.

“We’re really excited that funds from this property sale can be used to redevelop the park. It’s not every day that we get funds set aside to redevelop one of our parks,” Public Information Officer Aaron Dimick said.

The city sold the land to Brendan O’Hara from Absolute Net Properties after discovering it was being used as a city park but had never been officially declared park land.

“When something is officially created as a park, it is very difficult to not make it a park. We do that because we want to preserve the integrity of the park and want to make sure that it’s preserved for park use. In looking how possibly the park could be reshaped and how we could maybe accommodate a commercial development, it was determined that certain parcels that were owned by the city could be turned around for redevelopment,” Dimick said.

The city says this is a good chance to reshape a park that doesn’t get as much use as others in the area.

Optimist Park

“We just have an odd situation here where we have official park property and then the adjacent land around it as either residential or was never made a park. The other half of the ball field is owned by True Community Credit Union. That’s going to be going away. That land is going back to them and they’re going to do what they will with it, “Dimick said.

The park is going to be reduced in size.

You will still be able to play basketball there. They will be tearing down the current court which is placed right next to the road to make room for the new development. The city parks department plans to build a new court away from the road along with a new playground.

“We don’t always have the ability to do these kinds of improvements in one of our parks and give it a new use. From the city’s point of view and hopefully for the residents point of view it’s going to be exciting that we can improve this park for the community,” Dimick said.

City officials say having this developer utilize that area will be a positive.

North West Avenue and Argyle

“We’re told by the developer that it’s going to create up to 45 full-time jobs. That is something good to see. It’s good that we can have a project like this where it is good for business development,” Dimick said.

O’Hara did not respond to a request for comment.

The timeline for the start of construction is unclear right now as it depends on the construction schedule of the commercial property.

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