Hilliard Northwest News

Cemetery Road

McDonald's moving closer to Britton Parkway

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

McDonald's will relocate later this year from Cemetery Road and Lyman Drive to a new site about 570 feet west at the northeast corner of Cemetery Road and Britton Parkway.

The new site will be adjacent to the Giant Eagle under development at the northwest corner of the intersection. It will be built on the site of the former Evergreen Restaurant.

Hilliard Economic Development Director David Meeks announced the move Feb. 23 during a two-day Hilliard City Council strategic planning retreat at the Heritage Golf Club.

A new east-west road will be built directly to the north of and parallel to Cemetery Road, connecting Britton Parkway to Lyman Drive and providing access from rear lots to the McDonald's, the former BP lot and the Speedway at Cemetery Road and Lyman Drive.

The new road would improve access to those parcels for motorists eastbound on Cemetery Road who are precluded from turning because of a median.

Meeks also addressed the status of Hickory Chase, an upscale senior-living facility at Davidson and Leap roads that Erickson Retirement Communities was forced to abandon when the company sought bankruptcy protection in 2009.

The nearly completed campus has been abandoned since then and Hilliard has had little leverage to resolve the issue, Meeks said.

"There have been some interested parties," Meeks said, but interference from financial institutions that issued loans for the project has derailed any potential sale.

Meeks estimates past-due taxes and receiver fees add up to almost about $11 million. Back taxes are about $8 million and receivers have spent about $3 million since foreclosure to maintain the property.

Financiers sold nearly all the equipment, furniture and other items shortly after the foreclosure, Meeks said.

"They pillaged the property," Meeks said.

He said they also have allowed the property to deteriorate while disputing its disposal.

Franklin County Common Pleas Court Judge Michael Holbrook ordered a judicial sale of the property, but banks have filed an objection to the order, Hilliard Law Director Tracy Bradford said.

"They won't give an inch," Bradford said.

Meeks said banks prefer a private auction to the judicial sale because an auction is likely to result in a higher sale price.

A judicial sale would likely pay off back taxes and receiver fees only, but, Meeks said, banks typically write off losses experienced in bankruptcies.

The Franklin County auditor estimates the value of the land and buildings at $18 million, Meeks said, an amount that does not reflect the $11 million owned in back taxes and fees.

On the first day of the retreat, representatives from marketing firm FrazierHeiby outlined their progress in a branding effort for the city of Hilliard.

Mayor Don Schonhardt is expected to present the details of the branding campaign at his State of the City address Tuesday, March 12.

The retreat concluded with members creating a list of goals, objectives in reaching the goals and a timeline for execution.

Goals included promoting economic development, revising an emergency operations plan, implementation of code amendment and revising a crises readiness plan with the school district.

The city's top goal was incorporating the soon-to-be named brand into all its programs.

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