City due nearly $842,800
Gahanna City Council mulls Central Park reimbursement plan
It's payback time for some of Gahanna's investment in Central Park.
Gahanna City Council is considering an agreement with Value Recovery Group II (VRG II) so the city could be reimbursed for 10 percent of the sale price of properties that are sold in Central Park.
City engineer Karl Wetherholt told council June 25 that the agreement calls for the city to accept 3.358 acres of right-of-way donation (at a value of about $165,000 per acre for a total of $552,750) and a mortgage promissory note of $290,039 on properties in Central Park, for a total of nearly $842,800 to be repaid by VRG II.
The total cost of the Tech Center Drive project, supporting the development and continuing enhancement of Gahanna's office, commerce and technology district, including Central Park, was about $3.3 million.
The city was able to obtain $1 million in Ohio Department of Development grant money to pay for a portion of Tech Center Drive/Science Boulevard improvement based upon job creation in Central Park. The city also financed $1.5 million through the issuance of municipal bonds to support the roadwork and infrastructure costs related to the Tech Center Drive project.
The remaining project cost balance of about $842,800 is to be repaid by VRG II, as outlined by the proposed agreement.
Wetherholt said the Bedford landfill was a blight on the community and was impeding development in the area. He said the landfill closure and the subsequent release of the adjoining lands for potential development were accomplished through the creation of the Central Ohio Community Investment Corp. (COCIC).
The corporation was formed by a partnership of Franklin County agencies and the city of Gahanna. It enabled tax liens, legal encumbrances and environmental liabilities to be isolated from the partners.
The city was able to obtain a Clean Ohio grant to close the landfill. For this it was necessary to establish the surrounding property as developable and job supporting.
To that end, Wetherholt said, Gahanna contributed land and finances along with entering into a developer's agreement with COCIC. The COCIC used a private company (VRG II) to acquire more of the surrounding property to comply with the terms of the landfill closure grant and to create a cohesive development tract.
Wetherholt said the proposed agreement is necessary to secure the city's position for reimbursement of the investment made over the past few years. It also will permit the city to acquire title to rights of way for some of the existing portions of Tech Center Drive, along with the future extension of Tech Center to Taylor Station Road.
Council member David Samuel asked who determines the sale value of property in Central Park.
Wetherholt said it's market-driven.
Legislation concerning the agreement will return to council's next committee meeting in two weeks as contract language is refined.