Gahanna City Council intends to consider two pieces of legislation connected with the Gahanna Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) on Monday, Feb. 7, including a lease-purchase agreement for property at 181 Granville Street.

Gahanna City Council intends to consider two pieces of legislation connected with the Gahanna Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) on Monday, Feb. 7, including a lease-purchase agreement for property at 181 Granville Street.

Development director Sadicka White said the city has been interested in the property for quite some time for the future extension of Shull Avenue to connect with Friendship Park. It's currently an office building.

The city was in no position to purchase the property from Yates LLC when it became available in 2008, White said, so she took it to the CIC, which made a down payment on the property.

The proposed lease-purchase agreement, beginning in February and ending Jan. 31, 2016, is between the Gahanna CIC, landlord and the city of Gahanna, tenant.

All property taxes, insurance, utilities and sums would be due to Yates, LLC on a mortgage that exists on the premises.

The CIC currently has the property's building managed by The Commercial Partnership.

CIC president Andre Porter said the building, built in the early 1960s, is 81 percent occupied. In 2010, seven leases were renewed. Nine business tenants lease 6,301 square feet.

Council is considering an ordinance to purchase the property for $730,000 over a five-year period at $146,000 annually, using funds from the West Gahanna Tax Increment Funding (TIF) Capital Projects/Improvements.

The TIF was established in 2007 to secure funds to make public improvements within the Olde Gahanna/West Gahanna area, according to Karl Wetherholt, city engineer.

The property is at the point where Shull Avenue will need to be extended in the future, Wetherholt said.

White said the building was more occupied in 2008 than it is now, and the CIC has agreed to sell it.

The CIC, incorporated in 1965, is a nonprofit organization formed under city legislation to promote "the industrial, economic, commercial and civic development of a community or area."

"The city really wants the right-of-way," White added. "In five years, the city would own all the property and building. It really benefits the city of Gahanna."

Councilman Shane Ewald said he supports moving forward with the agreement because that corner has been a concern.

"I made a commitment years ago to improve the traffic flow there," he said.

Mayor Becky Stinchcomb said the city's intention is to eventually bulldoze the building and extend the road.

"There's only one way in and out for that neighborhood," she added. "If we would need to evacuate, it would be good to have another way in and out. There are a lot of benefits to extending Shull."

The CIC has also requested council approve an annual agreement that authorizes the nonprofit to receive 0.0833 percent of the city's lodging tax revenue.

As of November, the CIC had received $37, 306, Porter said.

He added that the funds will help the CIC pursue its goals and objectives for 2011 that includes supporting the city's development department in marketing, promotions and attracting new business.

Finance director Angel Mumma said the city lodging tax is 6 percent and generated $362,957 last year.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

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