The last step in the public decision-making process has reached a successful conclusion for Kingsdale, with the Board of Zoning and Planning approving the Final Development Plan on Monday, June 15. This means the countdown to seeing real change at the site has moved into the final stage.

The last step in the public decision-making process has reached a successful conclusion for Kingsdale, with the Board of Zoning and Planning approving the Final Development Plan on Monday, June 15. This means the countdown to seeing real change at the site has moved into the final stage.

As Echo/Continental officially takes ownership of approximately 21 acres of the Kingsdale triangle from Regency Centers, LLC, its company representatives are now preparing for the work that lies ahead to relocate some tenants, demolish portions of the site, reconfigure some existing spaces and construct new buildings all to fulfill the end goals that have been mapped out by the Final Development Plan.

The timeline for work to begin is still being finalized, but we can expect to see movement at the site within the next two months.

Construction of Giant Eagle's new Market District store on the Northwest Boulevard side the first of its kind in Ohio will be a significant component of the initial phase. On the Tremont Road side, work will also begin to construct new and renovate existing retail and restaurant space. Echo/Continental is hopeful of a summer 2010 grand opening. Once the Market District grocery store is complete and occupied, work will then commence on the site of the old Giant Eagle.

As construction is under way, both Echo/Continental and the city's Economic Development office will focus on efforts to seek and secure medical or professional office tenants for the approximately five-acre parcel at the south end of the site that has been set aside for office development.

The city will take ownership of this portion of the site upon completion of the first phase of the development. The purchase is to be funded through Tax Increment Financing, using the additional property taxes generated by the increased value that will result from the new and renovated buildings thereby enabling the city to invest in this important project without taking away from existing programs.

Ownership gives the city control of efforts to achieve additional office space, a desired component, which will generate revenue for the city and enhance the synergy and activity that comes from a mixed-use development.

The fact this significant project is able to occur during a challenging economy, speaks to the strength of the Upper Arlington community. Impressive resident demographics, home values holding steady, excellent schools, and exceptional city services coupled with forward-thinking council leadership, assure Upper Arlington's place as a premier community worthy of further investment.

Watch for details of a groundbreaking ceremony as this exciting and long-awaited project officially begins. If you have questions about the Kingsdale development project, please call the city manager's office, at 583-5040 or the Development Department, 585-5070.