Upper Arlington News

Council OKs $650,000 'forgivable loan' to NCR

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Upper Arlington City Council has signed off on a $650,000 "forgivable loan" for the city's largest private employer.

Council voted 6-0 Monday, March 25, to provide National Church Residences with $650,000 over the next three years, a loan that will be forgiven as long as the organization remains headquartered in Upper Arlington for 10 years.

Additionally, NCR must generate at least $1.6 million in new payroll taxes over that time.

"They're the largest private employer in the city and they've been a great corporate resident," Upper Arlington City Council Vice President Frank Ciotola said. "Based on projections of new employees and increased revenue from increased taxes on payroll, this is going to be a good, long-term investment for the city.

"This was a good opportunity to keep reinvesting in an existing business in the city."

Council President Don Leach did not attend Monday's council meeting because he was out of the country.

NCR currently has more than 700 people on staff and has maintained operations in Upper Arlington since the 1960s.

Its corporate headquarters are located at 2235 and 2233 North Bank Drive.

In January, NCR finalized an approximately $2 million purchase of the former Willis Insurance Building at 2245 North Bank Drive. Plans are to relocate the NCR office staff to the 40,000-square-foot building.

The loan, which the city will provide in three installments of about $216,667 each, will help offset costs for the building acquisition, the staff relocation and renovations at the new office space.

"National Church Residences is proud to be the largest private employer in Upper Arlington, and we are very pleased with the city council's decision to provide the forgivable loan," said Karen Twinem, NCR's vice president of communications and public relations. "Partnering with the city of Upper Arlington allowed us to purchase 2245 North Bank Drive and convert the bottom floor of 2335 North Bank Drive into the Upper Arlington Center for Senior Services.

"This will help Upper Arlington residents to continue to live at home as they age."

In addition to providing geriatric care, home health care and adult day-care services in one location through the expansion project, Twinem said, the city's loan will foster local job growth.

"The loan also will bring jobs to Upper Arlington," she said. "National Church Residences currently has a payroll of $26 million in Upper Arlington with an average annual growth in the double digits.

"Projections show the jobs that will be housed in 2245 North Bank Drive and the Center for Senior Services will create 188 additional jobs in 10 years, with a cumulative new payroll of $62 million."

NCR also announced in February it had sold $52.405 million in bonds and spent another $10 million of its own money to lift First Community Village, a continuing-care retirement community also in Upper Arlington, from bankruptcy.

In addition to providing financial stability for First Community Village, NCR officials said the move satisfied First Community Village's debts from the construction of luxury apartments, while also allowing First Community Village to renovate its skilled nursing center and build 12 manor homes.

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