Upper Arlington News

City notes

UA reinvestment trend shows no signs of slowing

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The Upper Arlington reinvestment train is showing no signs of slowing down any time soon.

When I first joined the city, I found the statistics from the Community & Economic Development Department somewhat astounding. Year after year, the department permitted, inspected and approved millions of dollars in construction value, yet this is a built-out, mostly residential community.

This trend has continued and I now have a clearer appreciation for why this is the case.

In the residential arena, UA homes have more than held their value, compared to homes in other communities. In fact, we shared at our recent State of the City address that 2013 statistics ranked UA as second in the region for home values and first for the number of houses sold relative to the number placed on the market. In addition, UA homes have the shortest average number of days on the market in the region at just 63.

Then all you have to do is look around you as you drive through UA -- there are almost as many contractor trucks as there are cars on some blocks, as homeowners upgrade and enlarge their homes to meet modern standards.

In short, residents recognize that buying and upgrading homes in UA has been and continues to be a great investment.

From a commercial perspective, what are typically solid investment numbers from one year to the next have spiked several times in recent years, due to significant projects such as the Kingsdale redevelopment, Whole Foods and the Lane Avenue mixed-use and Homewood Suites Hotel project.

So, to the Community & Economic Development numbers for 2013: The department processed 231 planning cases, approximately 2,900 permits and inspected projects worth more than $72 million in construction value.

As a result of all this activity, the department ended the year with revenues of approximately $860,000 -- a long way toward recovering the costs for running this department.

As we look ahead to 2014, several exciting housing projects are already in progress or about to begin. The Hull Farms project on Lane Road will result in 14 new single-family homes; 11 condominiums are going in on Tremont Road for the London Court project; the Berkley House 265-apartment complex will soon begin to rise from the ground at Riverside and Bethel; and another project at the corner of Lane Road and Riverside -- known as Riverstone Estates -- will result in six single-family estate homes on one-acre lots.

With just these projects on the books, 2014 is already shaping up to be another impressive year.

 

Beat the Bill reminder

There are just a few days left to "Beat the Bill."

We have been challenging residents to Beat the Bill by remitting payments online before Friday, Feb. 14, thereby avoiding getting a bill in the mail. The more households that participate, the better, since it will save us the associated costs for printing and mailing.

It's very easy to pay online -- just visit uaoh.net and click on "Online Payments." From there, all you need is to find your address to get your account number, and to have your debit or credit card handy (we accept Visa, MasterCard and Discover).

If you have questions about these fees or your bill, call Finance & Administrative Services at 614-583-5280.

Theodore J. Staton is Upper Arlington's city manager.

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