A year ago this week, construction workers broke ground at the Kingsdale Center in hopes to make the shopping center a destination for both Upper Arlington residents and those in the surrounding areas.

A year ago this week, construction workers broke ground at the Kingsdale Center in hopes to make the shopping center a destination for both Upper Arlington residents and those in the surrounding areas.

The "Wrecking Ball" ceremony was held Aug. 20, 2009, and featured live entertainment, carnival rides for children and a special groundbreaking ceremony for the shopping center that sits at the triangle bound by Tremont Road, Northwest Boulevard and Zollinger Road.

Today, the rides and bands have been replaced by work trucks and scaffolding.

Frank Kass, CEO of Continental Real Estate Companies, which is handling the construction, said the last year of construction has gone smoothly. Right now, Continental's crews are finishing the first of three phases of the project ľ the fašade program.

He said the new building faces should be finished by the end of August.

"I understand that all the scaffolding will be down and all the existing buildings will be done by the end of this month," Kass said.

The next phase will be construction of a new building near Tremont and Fishinger road.

"We are really still working on phase 1, which is the renovation of the existing buildings, and we tore down the buildings to the east (which) is where the new (Giant Eagle) Market District store is going," Kass said. "Phase 2 has started. You see the new building going up by Tremont, and the renovation of the old Giant Eagle. Phase 2 will be the office buildings on Zollinger. We are right now finishing phase 1 and starting phase 2."

Matt Shad, deputy city manager for economic development, said that from the city's perspective, construction has gone very smoothly.

"As far as the way our agreements are written, it is on time and on schedule," he said. "Market District was revamped after they were approved, as far as the final development plan goes. It's not impeded any of their deadlines, as we were basically promised it ╔ would be done by Jan. 1, 2011."

He said the development agreement asks that the building be completed by then so the city can set an appraisal value at 100-percent completion for its tax-increment financing (TIF).

A TIF is an economic development mechanism available to local governments to finance public infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation. A TIF works by locking in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation was approved, according to the Ohio Department of Development.

Shad said the remaining smaller buildings that will be built in the outlots of Kingsdale do not have to be completed until the end of next year.

Kass said the most exciting aspect of the construction has been seeing the Market District store come to life. The store will be considered the centerpiece of the new Kingsdale Center.

Market District, which is the first of its kind in Ohio, will be just over 110,000 square feet and will feature prepared food, wine tastings, cooking classes, local produce and other "foodie" delights, according to its website.

Mike Duffey, spokesman for the Upper Arlington Market District store and director of media relations for Hinson Public Relations, said Giant Eagle officials are keeping quiet about many of the details.

"They are very tight-lipped about it," he said. "Market District folks are working very hard to try to save as much detail as possible for the opening this fall."

Though Duffey said officials are not announcing the grand opening for the store, Kass said he believes the date is Thursday, Oct. 14.

Shad said he also thinks that is the date Market District officials are planning for their grand opening.

He said the city currently does not have plans for an opening celebration, but likely would have one coincide with the store's opening event if they host one.

Kass said the store is going to make the center a destination.

"I think the Market District store, because of its size and offering, will draw from all over central Ohio," Kass said.

He said that though the Market District store will draw customers from the Columbus area, Kingsdale is designed to be a regional center for Upper Arlington residents.

"For the most part, this is going to be an extraordinary community center, where you can bank shop, get breakfast, etc.," Kass said.

Shad said he thinks Kingsdale will deliver a great shopping and dining experience.

"We are well on our way of delivering what everyone anticipated, in terms of the potential for the tax base as well as the vibrancy of the retail and restaurant district that people will enjoy going to," Shad said.