2009 promises to be the year for change at Kingsdale, with Continental Real Estate Companies' and local developer Mark Catalano's plans to purchase and redevelop the Kingsdale Shopping Center moving forward.

2009 promises to be the year for change at Kingsdale, with Continental Real Estate Companies' and local developer Mark Catalano's plans to purchase and redevelop the Kingsdale Shopping Center moving forward.

"The proposed Kingsdale redevelopment signifies the realization of a long-held community goal," said Council President Donald B. Leach, Jr. "Remarkably, it comes during a time of unprecedented economic turmoil across the nation. Continental's continued commitment to purchasing and revitalizing Kingsdale speaks to our impressive demographics, reaffirming that investment in Upper Arlington is a good decision at any time."

A preliminary development plan for the site was filed with the City at the end of December and was informally reviewed by members of the Board of Zoning and Planning (BZAP) in early January. It now goes before BZAP for its formal hearing on Monday, February 2, beginning at 7 p.m., at the Municipal Services Center, 3600 Tremont Road. Residents are welcome and invited to attend this meeting, and public testimony will be taken.

Additionally, the City is reviewing a proposed Development Agreement from Continental relative to a level of City support tied to a proposed office component, which requires City Council consideration and approval. Staff is currently working to provide appropriate information and funding options to Council, to assist members in making a fully informed decision on this request. This includes considering the use of all available economic development incentive tools, such as Tax Increment Financing. At the time of submitting this article, a schedule of when this component is to be presented to City Council is still pending. Please check the City's Web site (www.ua-ohio.net) for updates.

For many years, past and present members of City Council have declared Kingsdale as a primary agenda item for their terms on Council, recognizing how important it is to all Upper Arlington citizens. They have helped guide and encourage Staff over the years to work toward facilitating a successful project.

When you stop to consider the surrounding area, this transformation has already begun, with new housing, retail and office space along Tremont Road - many of these projects initiated by resident developers who understand the importance and possibilities for Kingsdale and our community.

Redeveloping the Kingsdale core promises to continue the renewal process - bringing new retail, service and restaurant options to enhance residents' quality of life, with the goal of also adding office space that will generate important income tax revenues to support City services. A revitalized Kingsdale will also positively impact property values for our community, benefitting the Schools and Library over the long term.

"This opportunity is cause for celebration," continued Leach. "It's time for us to look forward to what could be for Upper Arlington's future, so that we remain attractive to future generations as a community in which to live, work and raise a family."

Visit www.ua-ohio.net for additional details of the proposed Kingsdale project, or call the City Manager's Office, at 583-5040.