Village council and the New Albany Co. are working to expand the local business campus' research and information district.

Village council and the New Albany Co. are working to expand the local business campus' research and information district.

Council heard the first reading of an ordinance Tuesday, March 23, to annex 93 acres of Plain Township to the village to add to the business park.

The land is at Walnut Street and Schleppi and New Albany-Condit roads, near the Aetna building.

Jack Reynolds, an attorney with Smith and Hale, addressed council on behalf of the New Albany Co.

"It was part of the area that was identified as the growth area under the annexation agreement back in 2008," he said.

According to documents provided by the village, the New Albany Co. owns numerous sites surrounding the 93 acres.

Jennifer Chrysler, village community development director, said the annexation would do more than just provide the business park with more land.

"This opens up more ground in the business park," she said. "First of all, it takes some ground that could potentially be zoned residential. It eliminates the possibility of having housing units that could negatively impact the schools."

She said the land could be used in a better way.

"I think if we are going to build housing units, we are going to do it in the right places," she said.

Though the village and the New Albany Co. want to make the land part of the business campus, Reynolds said there currently are no plans for the site.

"We want to get that step out of the way so when we are ready to rezone and move forward ... we are ready instead of going through this process," he said.

Chrysler said that when the land is developed, it would act as another gateway to the business campus from New Albany Road East.

Plain Township also would benefit from this deal, she said.

The annexation extends the village's water and sewer services to the property and gives the township a larger property-tax base.

"The property is still within the boundaries of Plain Township," Chrysler said. "What the annexation allows the property is a better chance of redevelopment. It increases the value for the township."

Council is slated to hear the second reading of the ordinance at 6:30 p.m. April 6 at Village Hall.

gmartineau@thisweeknews.com