Gahanna City Council is considering an Office & Industrial incentive agreement that would keep Pediatric and Adolescent Practitioners Inc. (PAPI) and its 25 employees in the city for another decade.

Gahanna City Council is considering an Office & Industrial incentive agreement that would keep Pediatric and Adolescent Practitioners Inc. (PAPI) and its 25 employees in the city for another decade.

Deputy development director Leah Evans told council members March 26 that this is the first time an existing company has been offered an incentive for job retention.

PAPI has been in Gahanna for more than 25 years and currently has offices at 453 Waterbury Court.

The practice, specializing in children and adolescents, has continued to experience growth and has added doctors and patients over the years. PAPI currently serves more than 15,000 active patients, according to Evans.

The firm has proposed moving to a 6,500-square foot facility at 1085 Beecher Crossing North, where it would sign a 10-year lease and invest about $500,000 in leasehold improvements, Evans said. The company would retain 25 existing jobs in Gahanna, with $1.946 million in total annual payroll.

Council's incentive advisory board on March 19 voted to recommend the project for a three-year, 15-percent O&I incentive for PAPI to remain in Gahanna.

The total estimated incentive payment to the company would be $13,136 over three years and would begin in 2013. The net income-tax revenue to the city would be $278,765 over 10 years.

Charlene O'Donnell, PAPI practice manager, said the company wanted to move to a more "user-friendly" area that would be customized to accommodate current needs. She said PAPI initially looked to relocate in Columbus, New Albany and Whitehall because it couldn't find space in Gahanna that fit its needs.

As a result, the Gahnna Planning & Development Department staff referred company officials to the property developer at Beecher Crossing, where the company was able to design a space that works.

"We feel Gahanna has been good to us, and we'd like to stay here," O'Donnell said.

Council member Karen Angelou said she would support the incentive because of the length of the lease. "Ten years says, 'I'm committed to Gahanna,'" she said.

Council member David Samuel said his grandson visits PAPI, and he hopes the company would stay.

"I'll vote yes," he said.

Council member Brandon Wright thanked PAPI for reconsidering Gahanna.

"I think that's why we should start a retention fund," he said.