Dublin Villager

International spotlight focused on Dublin in 2013

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

In 2013 international events and developments dominated the headlines in Dublin.

The city hosted the Presidents Cup, an international golf competition, for the first time in 2013, but was also kept busy with new developments and evolving plans for the Bridge Street District.

The top stories that ruled the headlines in Dublin in 2013 included:

 

International visitors

Dublin drew visitors from throughout the world in 2013 as the Presidents Cup settled upon Muirfield Village Golf Club in early October for the com-petition that pitted a team of the best U.S. golfers against an international team.

The region expected to see $50 million in revenue from the event and 600 media members covering the event stayed in Dublin hotels.

The event helped Dublin break all records for bed tax funds earned in one month, said Scott Dring, Dublin Convention and Visitors Bureau executive director.

The city expected, however, to see benefits far beyond money.

"In the eyes of many people and certainly the golfing world, this is considered a very prestigious event on the level of the Ryder Cup and Solheim Cup, and Dublin will be the first city to have hosted all three," Mayor Tim Lecklider told the ThisWeek Dublin Villager in a story published in advance of the event.

"In the future when there's mention of the relatively few cities in the U.S. that have hosted the Presidents Cup, Dublin will be mentioned as one of the cities in that line up," Lecklider said.

"The other cities are San Francisco and the Washington, D.C., area. It's quite an honor for Dublin to be in the company of cities of that caliber."

While the American team celebrated victory, residents were able to get in on the excitement by volunteering at the event and attending an opening ceremony at Columbus Commons and a street festival in Historic Dublin.

The international event wasn't trouble free, though.

When the Muirfield Village Golf Club started erecting a fence for the Memorial Tournament in April that would again be used for the Presidents Cup, residents were angry.

They said the black wrought iron fence violated the beauty of the area and in the early fall deer were injured trying to hop the fence.

To keep deer from being injured on the top of the fence, Muirfield installed cross bars.

The golf club also pledged to have the temporary fence removed in November, although it will be put up again in March for the Memorial Tournament.

International visitors also came to Dublin for football.

Jerome High School hosted the Football University Top Gun Camp in July that drew the best 1,500 middle and high school football players from the U.S., Canada and Europe.

At the camp, football players were coached and taught by current and former NFL players and the best coaches.

The event resulted in the purchase of 4,500 room nights.

"That was $500,000 for Dublin hotels," Dring said, noting additional revenue also went to Dublin restaurants.

Thanks to $25,000 from the city's hotel/motel tax fund and $25,000 from the DCVB, the Football University Top Gun Camp is set to return in 2014.

 

Bridge Street

Work on the Bridge Street District continued as the city focused on redevelopment for Dublin's core that runs along state Route 161 between the Interstate 270/U.S. Route 33 interchange and Sawmill Road.

Plans that promote multi-use, urban-style development that encourages walking and cycling evolved at the State of the City address as plans for a pedestrian bridge spanning the Scioto River, riverside parks and a roundabout at state Route 161 and Riverside Drive were announced.

The city soon purchased land from Wendy's on the southeast corner of the state Route 161 and Riverside Drive intersection for a roundabout as well as Bridge Point Center and other land on Riverside Drive for the realignment of Riverside Drive.

The city plans to push Riverside Drive to the east to allow for more room for a riverside park.

City officials said the park, pedestrian bridge and road work would be a catalyst for other work in the area.

A plan for retail, housing and a hotel along the east side of Riverside Drive was announced in October by Crawford Hoying.

The Dublin-based real estate and development company announced its $300 million plan that could include a five-story office building, 200-room hotel and conference center and other multiple level buildings with restaurant and retail space on the bottom and residential above.

A fitness center and grocery store are also included in the development.

Another 1-acre development in Historic Dublin between Blacksmith Lane and North Riverview Street was also announced in October.

OHM plans to develop retail and office space along with 27 condos at the Historic Dublin site.

Wendy's opened its new flagship restaurant in the Scioto corridor of the Bridge Street District in December.

The new restaurant, across the street from the headquarters in the Shoppes at River Ridge, moved east after Dublin purchased the site where a restaurant sits at the intersection of state Route 161 and Riverside Drive to build a roundabout.

The new flagship restaurant includes a community meeting room and memorabilia of Wendy's founder Dave Thomas.

 

Interchange retooling

Work on improving the I-270/33 interchange continued in 2013 as funding for the project fell into place.

The interchange, constructed in the 1970s, has remained largely unchanged and was labeled "failing."

A preferred alternative for the interchange was unveiled in May and calls for the replacement of all the current cloverleaf ramps except the I-270 south to U.S. 33 east ramp. A flyover ramp, which could be constructed in a second phase would carry traffic from I-270 north to U.S. 33 west.

Improvements also include the addition of four lanes of traffic on Route 33 west from the interchange to Avery-Muirfield Drive.

The project was getting funding piecemeal from ODOT, MORPC and Dublin, but a major windfall announced in August pushed the project forward with construction expected as soon as the end of 2014.

Gov. John Kasich's $3 billion "Jobs and Transportation Plan" designated $51 million for the interchange project, providing the rest of the funding needed for the $93 million project.

Dublin also focused on aesthetics for the improved interchange, hiring a company to take input and bring three themes to the community.

An interchange aesthetics committee, chosen by Dublin City Council, decided on a theme that will depict scenes from the Scioto River on retaining walls and add Celtic knots to other pieces of the interchange.

The aesthetics package, estimated to cost about $900,000, will also include 100 acres of landscaping.

 

Dublin growth

Dublin grew in other areas as well in 2013.

Ohio University began renovations at its Dublin Osteopathic Medicine College campus in July at 7001 and 7003 Post Road. The school expects to open in July 2014 and accepted its first student in 2013.

The medical campus is expected to cost $24.7 million and take 50 students in each of its first two classes.

Dublin Methodist Hospital also celebrated its five-year anniversary in 2013.

The hospital on Dublin's west side celebrated five years in January and also saw growth throughout the year as a heart and vascular diagnostic catheterization lab and cardiac rehabilitation program were added.

On the business side, several companies remained in Dublin and moved to the city after being offered incentives.

G-TEKT North America will establish a research and development headquarters in Dublin, thanks to incentives approved by council in September.

JPMorgan Chase took incentives in June to move 500 jobs to 165,000 square feet of office space formerly occupied by Nationwide.

An agreement with CareWorks kept the company and 820 jobs in Dublin, with 40 new jobs expected by 2017.

Dublin also added two new roundabouts -- at Coffman and Brand roads and Hyland Croy and Brand roads -- to city infrastructure in 2013.

Dublin also added a new KIA Memorial in Dublin Cemetery in 2013.

 

Elections

Although Dublin City Council seats were contested in the 2013 elections, not many changes will come to the group.

Ward 1 representative Cathy Boring announced in April she would not seek re-election after 20 years on council. Her announcement brought four contenders for her seat, although one dropped out of the race in the fall.

Greg Peterson won Boring's seat, defeating Christine Gawronski and Julie Hubler.

Vice Mayor Amy Salay retained her Ward 2 seat against one contender as did incumbent John Reiner in Ward 3.

Mayor Tim Lecklider defeated two challengers for his Ward 4 seat on Election Day as well.

On the Dublin City School Board, Gwen Callender did not run for re-election because she was election a municipal judgeship. Her bid was unsuccessful.

Incumbents Stu Harris and Lynn May held onto their school board seats and former Karrer Middle School Principal Rick Weininger was elected to Callender's former seat.

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