A national nonprofit organization that provides housing and services to older adults is expanding its Upper Arlington headquarters in hopes of establishing a local senior services center.
Last month, Upper Arlington-based National Church Residences finalized the approximately $2-million purchase of the former Willis Insurance building at 2245 North Bank Drive.
The acquisition of the 40,000-square-foot building, according to organization officials, will lead to the relocation of office staff from its headquarters in neighboring buildings at 2235 and 2233 North Bank Drive by March 1.
It also will allow Upper Arlington's largest private employer, which currently has more than 700 people on staff, to add about 188 local jobs over the next 10 years and provide for the establishment of a senior services center at its headquarters.
"We are an organization that has been growing and we had run out of space in this building," said Karen Twinem, vice president of communications and public relations for National Church Residences. "We have purchased that (Willis) building and we do intend to move some of our offices over there.
"We would like to develop a center for senior services."
According to the organization, National Church Residences is the nation's largest nonprofit developer and manager of affordable senior housing and services. It has more than 330 communities in 28 states and Puerto Rico, including five Ohio-based senior health care communities.
National Church Residences also owns and operates five additional continuing care retirement communities in Ohio. It has maintained headquarters in Upper Arlington since 1985.
Twinem said the current expansion ultimately will make Upper Arlington a premier community for senior living.
She said preliminary plans call for the creation of a senior services center, which would provide adult-based services, as well as primary geriatric and home health care.
"It's all being discussed, but this would give us a place in Upper Arlington where people could get senior services," she said. "It will actually make Upper Arlington one of the best places possible to be a senior.
"People can stay in their homes and get services here."
Upper Arlington Community and Economic Development Manager Bob Lamb said National Church Residences is investing approximately $170,000 in renovations to the new offices.
That, in addition to the purchase of the building and the impending workforce increase, is expected to provide a financial boost to the city, he said.
"National Church Residences projects that their expansion efforts will create over $1.5 million in additional payroll withholdings to Upper Arlington over 10 years," Lamb said. "This $1.5 million is based on new jobs and services that National Church Residences will be bringing to the community and is an addition to the revenue the city is currently receiving from National Church Residencies existing operations."
Twinem credited National Church Residences' ongoing growth, as well as support from the local community for the expansion, which is keeping vital services and staff in the city.
She said UA has worked to help the organization move toward its goals, and she said Ed and Mary Jane Overmyer, as well as Kohr Royer Griffith Inc., have made significant contributions to the local project.
"We're really happy," Twinem said. "We've been working with Upper Arlington on it and we're very pleased with what they've done for us.
"We're a national organization, but we're very committed to Upper Arlington."