Things are heating up on Lane Avenue this summer, so I wanted to share some highlights with you so that you know what to expect.

Things are heating up on Lane Avenue this summer, so I wanted to share some highlights with you so that you know what to expect.

Lane Avenue water line: Work on a water line replacement for the section of Lane Avenue between Northwest Boulevard and North Star Road has already begun. As a result, both lanes on the north side of the street are out of commission for the construction zone, with one lane in each direction maintained in the remaining two lanes. The goal is to complete this project by late August.

Lane Avenue "Road Diet": As the water line project concludes, this section of Lane Avenue will be converted to three-lanes, with one lane of traffic in each direction, a central turn lane and parking on the north side. The curb lane surrounding the mixed-use project will be part of the construction zone for several months.

Next year, plans are in place to resurface the road and permanently install the "road diet." With this configuration, the parking lane will be in effect for the majority of the day, but will convert back to a second westbound lane during evening rush hour.

Mount Holyoke and Wellesley Drive water lines: This work begins in early fall and will last approximately two months. At this time, the section of Wellesley adjacent to the mixed-use project will be widened. Shortly thereafter, some traffic calming components are pending for Wellesley.

Mixed-use project development agreement: The final pieces of the Lane Avenue mixed-use puzzle are now in place, as City Council approved a development agreement between the city and the project developers that spells out in detail the responsibilities and commitments from the city and the developers, mapping out how this project will occur over an approximately 18-month time period.

Using tax increment financing (TIF), under this agreement, the city can fund certain public infrastructure improvements associated with the development, without taking away from other city programs. This includes $3.4 million of developer infrastructure costs that cover a 50-year ground lease of the portion of the property dedicated to surface public parking, as well as to support some demolition expenses and other on-site public infrastructure needs (street, curb, gutter, utilities). Additionally, the city will use some of the funds generated from the TIF to help cover the costs for Lane Avenue, Wellesley Drive and Mount Holyoke infrastructure improvements that include utilities, traffic calming and street lighting, which are likely to be in excess of $3 million.

Upper Arlington schools have agreed to partner with the city on the TIF programs. Under this agreement, the district will not lose any property tax it currently receives from the site, but will forgo some of the increased taxes that will be due on the completed project for a period of 30 years -- forgiving 50 percent for the commercial property/hotel and 25 percent for the residential property.

From a timing perspective, demolition work is expected to run through late August. Work will then begin to construct the parking garage, with a tentative completion date in October this year. Construction of the hotel will begin in September, with a tentative opening date next summer.

And lastly, the apartments and commercial space in the second building will be under construction from October through the end of 2013.

We have made available a fact sheet with schedules and background information for these projects and more. Additionally, we anticipate sharing regular updates with the community as projects evolve, and I invite you to contact my office at 614-583-5040 if you have questions or concerns on any of these items. As a reminder, the best way to stay informed is to sign up for regular emails from us at, or to follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

Storm collaboration

thank you

Upper Arlington is part of an exploration of shared services opportunities with several other Central Ohio communities; from these discussions, we hope to identify and put into play various streamlining partnerships to help municipalities meet various service expectations in a cost-effective way.

The recent storm at the end of June was a reminder that collaborations are already part of doing business, and I wish to extend our gratitude the city of New Albany and the Franklin County Engineer's Office for assisting with storm debris cleanup.

With their help, crews were able to pass through the entire community at least one time by close of business Friday, July 13. Moving forward, the plan is to complete a second pass through the community by Friday, July 27. Visit for a full update on our clean up efforts.

Theodore J. Staton is city manager for Upper Arlington.