Dublin Villager

State of the City

Four key projects touted as redevelopment catalysts

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Four projects touted as catalysts to get redevelopment moving in the Bridge Street District were announced at Dublin's State of the City address March 6.

This year, officials said work is progressing on the four projects and interest in Dublin's plans for walkable, urban-style redevelopment in the city's core is high.

City Manager Marsha Grigsby said council's plan to concentrate on the Scioto River area was announced last year, as well as plans to relocate Riverside Drive, put a roundabout at the state Route 161 and Riverside Drive intersection, and build a riverside park and pedestrian bridge.

"Preliminary engineering was done last year," Grigsby said.

"Final design will be done in 2014 and funding for construction is in 2015."

Terry Foegler, Dublin's director of strategic initiatives and special projects, told the audience at the State of the City event the city's redevelopment plans have made some noise.

"The levels of development interest that has been evolving in recent months is amazing," Foegler said, adding every area of the Bridge Street District has garnered interest from developers.

The Bridge Street District runs along state Route 161 from Sawmill Road to the Interstate-270/U.S. Route 33 interchange and mostly calls for urban-style redevelopment that will mix residential, retail and commercial uses.

The redevelopment planned for the area is expected to draw young workers and businesses to Dublin and keep "this city as competitive as it has been through the next 10 to 15 years," Foegler said.

Throughout 2013, Dublin has purchased land along the east and west side of the Scioto River for a planned park and the realignment of Riverside Drive that will allow for more parkland on the east side of the river.

The planned pedestrian bridge should connect the parks and run north of the state Route 161 bridge.

"The public projects ... are certainly generating the interest we hoped they would," Foegler said.

With big plans coming for the Bridge Street District, Grigsby said partnerships will be needed.

An agreement with the Dublin City School District is expected to go before Dublin City Council and the Dublin Board of Education soon, she said.

The city previously tried to execute a non-school tax-increment financing agreement in the Dublin Village Center for a 324-unit apartment project. The TIF was tabled in July.

The TIF would have put any increases in property tax into a fund for infrastructure improvement until the improvements were paid for.

Dublin schools would have continued to receive its current level of property taxes.

With construction of the catalytic projects planned to start next year, Grigsby said the public will notice delays, especially as work on Riverside Drive and the new roundabout at state Route 161 begins.

"One of the things that will be important to remember is we were looking at this before Bridge Street," Grigsby said of the planned roundabout.

"This would have happened whether Bridge Street did or not."

The city will explore new connectors for the public to use during construction and Emerald Parkway will be finished by the time construction on the roundabout begins, taking some pressure of the Riverside Drive and state Route 161 intersection, Grigsby said.

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