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Baldwin buys Kings Yard

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The sale of the long building of shops in Kings Yard that was auctioned off in April was finalized last week by the purchaser, Bob Baldwin. While local resident Dave Chappelle won the bid on the property in April, he never closed the contract, according to auctioneer Bart Sheridan of Sheridan and Associates last week. Beginning this fall Sheridan recanvassed the original bidders, and Baldwin agreed to buy the property at 220 Xenia Avenue for $440,000, according to the Greene County Auditor’s Web site.

The property includes 10 retail spaces currently occupied by nine retailers in a 7,500-square-foot building, plus a 1/10-acre wooded lot to the northwest of the building. The space is currently leased to Bonadies Glasstudio, Jennifer’s Touch, Toxic Beauty, Yellow Springs Pottery, Footprints of the Past, the Village Greenery, Tibet Bazaar and the Tie Dyed Gift Shop. The annual revenue generated by the businesses totals an estimated $89,000, while the cost of utilities is estimated to be $17,000, and property taxes $4,600.

The option Chappelle purchased in April was originally scheduled to close in early May, Sheridan said. For unknown reasons, Chappelle requested several extensions on the option, which were granted, until Sheridan began to recanvass the bidders. Chappelle did not return calls for comment regarding the property.

The building was originally sold last April by Cathy Christian, who still owns the rest of Kings Yard, its buildings and adjoining parking lot. The retailers in those spaces include Ye Olde Trail Tavern, Sam & Eddie’s Open Books, Asanda Imports, Rita Caz Jewelry Store and La Llama Place. Christian, who owns the tavern, had taken over the yard from her father, Roger Hart, who died in 2009.

Baldwin is the son of Robert Baldwin Sr., who with a group of local leaders in the 1970s formed the Upland Corporation for the improvement of the downtown. Upland purchased Kings Yard from the Antioch Bookplate, and divided the building into multiple retail spaces.

“They thought downtown could use a shot in the arm and more retail space to accommodate these talented artists in town,” Baldwin said last week.

Yellow Springs Pottery was the first of many businesses that took advantage of the space, and it continues there as one of the yard’s steadiest anchors, in addition to Bonadies, which has been there 34 years, and Rita Caz, which has been there 20.

In the early 1980s Upland sold the yard to Springfield resident Roger Hart, and the retail area has lived a healthy existence since then.

Baldwin also owns other village property, including the Dayton Street properties currently occupied by YS Shoes ’n Things, Pass It On Kids, Sugar Cubes, Superfly and the Gulch, as well as Yoga Springs and Design Sleep.

The auction in April included about 12 registered bidders, including local builder Ron Lewis, builder Ron Stickleman and Ertel Publications head Patrick Ertel. Bidding began at $100,000, and rose to $300,000 before Chappelle and Baldwin were the only bidders left.

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