Hilliard Northwest News

Hilliard City Council

Landmark Lofts TIF, rezoning for condos approved

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Hilliard City Council on Sept. 9 approved essential components for two significant local developments.

Council members approved an urban development tax-increment financing district for Landmark Lofts and approved the rezoning of 13 acres on Hayden Run Road for the construction of 50 condominiums.

By a 6-0 vote, with Vice President Kelly McGivern absent, City Council members approved transferring three of the six parcels on the Landmark Lofts site from a standard parcel TIF to the new urban development TIF.

Other than Law Director Tracy Bradford's perfunctory explanation of the legislation, no Council members or residents spoke concerning the amended TIF agreement for Landmark Lofts, a mixed-use residential and retail development at Cemetery Road and Franklin Street.

A TIF is an economic development mechanism available to local governments to finance public infrastructure improvements, and in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Department of Development.

A TIF locks in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved, diverting the incremental revenue to designated uses, such as funding the necessary improvements or infrastructure to support a new development.

An urban development TIF typically is used as an incentive for residential rehabilitation. A common criticism of an urban development TIF -- one that several residents made at previous meetings concerning the Landmark Lofts TIF -- is that it diverts public tax revenue to support private development.

The urban development TIF is Hilliard's second. Last year, such a TIF was used when Premium Beverage relocated from Edgewyn Avenue into a building on Lacon Road that had been virtually destroyed by arson on Memorial Day weekend in 2009.

The maximum allowable amount of property-tax revenue to be redirected to Landmark Lofts is about $4.3 million, of which about $2 million will be used for on-site improvements.

Those improvements include $1.17 million for developer Buckeye KRG to renovate the inoperable grain elevator on the site into a community center and $850,000 to make the ground floors of the new buildings commercial grade.

As proposed, Landmark Lofts includes 170 apartments, as well as retail stores and restaurants. The 7,000-square-foot community center will have public meeting rooms and restrooms.

City Council members also voted 6-0 to approve the rezoning of 13.3 acres for the Courtyards at Hayden Run condos to be built by Epcon Communities.

The site is on Hayden Run, just east of Leppert Road.

The development had several detractors, most of them neighbors living on Edie Drive, a dead-end road that will abut the new condominiums.

But no residents spoke at the Sept. 9 meeting concerning the development, nor did any City Council members prior to the vote.


Other business

Council members also approved a grant application to the Ohio Public Works Commission for the construction of an extension of Riggins Road from Wilcox Road to Avery Road.

The east-to-west connector would reduce traffic congestion on Hayden Run Road, Service Director Butch Seidle said.

A second reading and public hearing also were held for legislation approving a contract for Dublin to provide emergency-dispatching services to Hilliard, which begins Oct. 1 and will be fully transferred by mid-January.

Because Dublin is a primary public-safety answering point that has equipment to triangulate cellphone calls, its dispatchers already handle the estimated 70 percent of all Hilliard and Brown and Norwich townships emergency calls that are made using cellphones.