Hilliard Northwest News

Real-estate firm, city talking relocation incentives

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Equity and the city of Hilliard are in negotiations for the commercial real-estate firm to relocate its corporate offices to the campus off Trueman Boulevard.

"We've been discussing the move for about the past six months," Hilliard Economic-Development Director David Meeks said May 20.

The move would bring about 100 new jobs to Hilliard, Meeks said.

Almost all the jobs would be those of Equity employees, but the relocation of the corporate office would include a few other related operations of Equity, Meeks said.

"We're working on incentives and we hope to have something wrapped up in a few weeks so I can present legislation in June," Meeks said.

Steven P. Wathen, CEO of Equity, said the company would relocate its corporate offices from Hutchinson Avenue near Worthington to the Timberline office campus on Trueman Boulevard just south of Davidson Road.

Equity owns the 25-acre site that once served as the corporate offices for Red Roof Inns.

If Equity relocates, it would move into the current offices of the Willis & Willis law firm, which would relocate, Wathen said.

Equity officials also are seeking to build a multifloor hotel with at least 100 rooms at the site, Wathen said.

"We've been discussing the hotel with Equity, too," Meeks said.

The hotel would be designed to augment the WatersEdge Event Conference Center, formerly known as Four Seasons Columbus, Meeks said.

In addition to finalizing terms of an economic-incentive agreement, Meeks said, the progress of the plans to extend Trueman Boulevard north to Edward Farms Road is crucial to the potential deal.

The Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission on June 12 is scheduled to consider a rezoning application for the construction of apartments as part of a mixed-use development north of Davidson Road and east of Interstate 270. The project would include extending Trueman Boulevard north of Davidson Road to Edwards Farms Road in Columbus, just south of Tuttle Crossing Boulevard.

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