Upper Arlington

City should repurpose existing buildings

To the Editor:

I am writing in regards to the ThisWeek Upper Arlington News article (Aug. 7, 2014) on the plans to raze a Lane Avenue office building that city officials have dubbed "obsolete" and redevelop the site to house a restaurant and its corporate offices.

Let's encourage city officials to pursue other opportunities for redevelopment of empty or outdated properties. As I drive around UA, I am continually surprised by all the "for rent/lease/sale" signs I see for commercial properties.

If we just focus on those for sale, and work to repurpose those properties into something that fits into our character, personality and architecture, we could really create something unique for our future.

Let's encourage the Economic Development Department, the Community Improvement Corp. and the city council to work on a plan to redevelop already available commercial properties for commercial development, and to provide the incentives needed to developers and property owners to focus on redevelopment, not development, as its strategy.

Let's reuse, recycle, redevelop properties that are currently available. And work within the community to create redevelopment that works in harmony with our residential neighborhoods.

There should never be a need to develop public land or green space for commercial purposes when there are so many opportunities all around us. And let's focus on the businesses who want to come here. If Class A office buildings are not a success here, then let's focus instead on the businesses who want to build, grow and be a part of our community.

Let's build on our past and present, and create a future that respects both.

Rufus Jones
Upper Arlington