Bexley News

Bexley's Community Improvement Corporation

Appointees wait for OK to start work

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Bexley's Community Improvement Corporation will officially take shape later this month.

With the legislation enabling creation of the organization set up by City Council in 2012, the next step -- appointing members -- is ready to be taken Tuesday, Jan. 22. An ordinance for making appointments to the CIC's board is to be introduced as part of that evening's council meeting.

Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler, who also handles economic development duties for the city, said the intent of the Bexley CIC is "to form an empowered board of directors to advance the development goals of the city in a way that leverages the city's resident development talent and increases the ability of the city to be flexible and proactive in its development efforts."

Bexley's CIC "will work to promote economic development, rejuvenate economically stressed areas of Bexley, and serve as the economic development agent of the city of Bexley," Kessler said.

The list of proposed appointees includes:

* David Bolon, Waggenbrenner Co. Bolon has comprehensive experience as a real estate attorney, former principal of Foundation Title, and a real estate agent. In his work with Waggenbrenner Co., he focuses on multifamily acquisition and property management. Additionally, Bolon is a board member of the Bexley Community Foundation. Bolon has actively worked with the mayor's office in problem solving and brainstorming Livingston Avenue corridor redevelopment concepts.

* Tom Brigdon, developer with Northstar Realty. Brigdon has diverse retail development experience, with a specialty in shopping center development.

* Tod Friedman, executive vice president and general counsel, Schottenstein Property Group. The Schottenstein Property Group controls and manages 22 million square feet of commercial space, including 250 shopping centers and industrial properties.

* Nate Green, senior project manager, JobsOhio. In his role at JobsOhio, Green manages projects across Ohio, is the liaison with the Ohio Department of Development for incentive programs, and manages the JobsOhio Network. Prior to joining JobsOhio, he was the director of the Strategic Business Investment Division at ODOD. Green has been in economic development for 13 years.

* Lee Hess, chairman, Installs Inc. Hess has extensive experience in business management and real estate investment. His background includes running real estate development and franchising as a senior vice president of Wendy's; co-founding Installs Inc., a national in-home technology installation vendor, and as a partner in Spectrum Entrerprises, leading the development of the Polaris Fashion Mall retail area and freeway interchange.

* Rachel Kleit, head of the city and regional planning section of the Knowlton School of Architecture at Ohio State University. Kleit was associate professor with the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Affairs and adjunct associate professor of urban design and planning. Her research focuses on the social impacts of housing on the lives of the poor, especially the relationship between housing location, neighborhood composition, social networks and access to opportunity. Kleit holds a master's degree from Tufts University and a doctorate from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

* Sam Koon, president, Samuel D. Koon & Associates and partner, Calgary Realty, Ltd. Koon is the president and founder of Samuel D. Koon & Associates, a commercial real estate appraisal firm based in Columbus. Prior to founding SDKA, Koon worked for the Robert Weiler Co. as a commercial real estate appraiser and real estate broker. He is a past president of the Columbus Chapter of the Appraisal Institute and has served as adjunct faculty at Capital University and Ohio State University.

* Andrew Madison, president, RSGarek Associates. Madison is a commercial real estate broker, with a focus in office sales and leasing. He has extensive managerial and marketing experience, having previously worked in the real estate departments of Federated Stores, Dayton-Hudson Department Stores, and The Limited Inc.

* Emily Turner, project manager, Hicks Partners. Turner is a project manager for Hicks Partners, LLC. In this role, she serves as a lead economic development and business incentives consultant. Prior to joining Hicks Partners, Turner capitalized on her experience as a supervising senior in the State and Local Tax division for KPMG LLP by operating her own consulting business. She also previously served as a business development representative for the Ohio Department of Development, and as development specialist for the city of Dayton and Butler County.

"We have a phenomenal group of proposed appointees, with a wide diversity of applicable experience and talent in real estate development, brokerage, appraisal, business, law and planning," Kessler said.

"The hardest part of this process was figuring out how to best balance the list of appointees given the wealth of qualified residents. I worked with City Council members to craft a list that had a true diversity of talent and perspective. It is humbling how gifted Bexley is with professional talent, and the list of appointees truly reflects that."

The names of proposed appointees are being submitted to council for approval, as required by the CIC ordinance that council passed.

"The board of the CIC will define what objectives are of primary importance, but I envision them assisting with the redevelopment of the City Hall site, redevelopment on Livingston Avenue, and with specific development projects throughout the city where a Community Improvement Corporation would be able to add value and expertise to the problem solving process," Kessler said.

Kessler added that the idea for the formation of a Bexley CIC came from the 2011 Bexley Land Use Strategy, where the formation of a CIC was a primary recommendation.

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