Olentangy Valley News

Powell annexation

Assisted-living facility planned for new city land

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Powell City Council last week considered a pre-annexation agreement that, if approved, would add five acres of Liberty Township land to the city boundaries where developers plan to build an assisted-living facility.

The Sawmill Parkway property that would be the site of 140 assisted-living apartment units would be built across from the Mount Carmel Health urgent-care center and the Shoppes at Wedgewood, both of which were included in the Target store pre-annexation agreement council approved Sept. 3.

Plans show the units will be rented to those who are retired, need assisted living or require special care because of memory loss.

"This brings about a really good use for the property," said city Development Director Dave Betz. "There is reduced access there because of a median, so the property would be less desirable for retail and high-end offices."

Betz said Spectrum Acquisition Powell LLC and Hendy Enterprises LTD approached the city about a month ago to start the annexation process. The facility development plans would move through the planning and zoning commission and council during the annexation process, which could last as long as four months, Betz said.

Developers haven't offered a timeline for the project, but Betz said he expects work on the proposed three-story housing building to begin once plans and the annexation are approved.

At last week's meeting, council members gave no indication of how they'll vote on the agreement at their next meeting. They asked that when Spectrum representative Glen Dugger returns to council Tuesday, Oct. 1, for the second reading of the ordinance that he bring with him detailed information, including what impact the facility could have on community services such as EMS and police.

"Typically, elderly housing has higher fire runs than an office building of the same size," Dugger said, adding that the facility certainly would add to the number of EMS calls.

There currently is one assisted-living facility within Powell city limits and another in Liberty Township. Betz said he believes the Spectrum facility would be the first to offer multiple living-style options.

Dugger said he didn't have exact numbers to demonstrate the economic impact such a facility would have on Powell, but said he expects the facility will employ the equivalent of 28 full-time employees, with most nurses, physicians and caretakers working on a part-time basis.

Although Dugger mentioned a lack of sewer and water lines in the area that would need to be fixed before construction could begin, Betz said the city hasn't yet discussed making a deal with the developers to add the property to the Sawmill Parkway tax-increment financing district.

Expanding the TIF district to include the proposed senior living facility's land would redirect property taxes gathered on the developed property into a special fund. The money then could be used for infrastructure improvements in the area.

Colorado-based Spectrum Retirement Communities operates 26 senior living facilities in 12 states. If council approves the pre-annexation agreement and development plan, the Powell facility would be Spectrum's first in central Ohio.

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