Upper Arlington News

City notes

Medical center plan meets city goal for Kingsdale

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It gives me great pleasure to share the news with you of Monday's joint announcement made to Upper Arlington City Council by the administration and the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center for construction of a 100,000-square-foot medical office facility at Kingsdale.

For years, the city has worked diligently to initiate and sustain the redevelopment of Kingsdale. In 2009, the city entered into a development agreement with Continental Real Estate Companies that created a public-private partnership focused on bringing new investment and business to the area.

As part of that agreement, the city purchased approximately five acres of the Kingsdale property with the specific goal of facilitating office development that would complement the district and generate higher income tax revenues resulting from the addition of new professional office or medical employees.

By partnering with Continental, the city has been able to bring the vision of redeveloping Kingsdale to fruition, as evidenced by the significant redevelopment and continued investment that has occurred on the site over the last five years. The Kingsdale Planned Mixed Use District (PMUD) has experienced approximately $45 million in new investment over recent years.

The redevelopment project has also helped to generate other redevelopment opportunities at several surrounding properties. These developments have focused on retail amenities and high-end housing options for residents.

Early this year, we began engaging in serious conversations with both the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and OhioHealth relative to the development of medical office facilities.

As discussions intensified, both submitted impressive proposals that were responsive to the goals and objectives of the Kingdale redevelopment plan.

Either project would be a great addition to the community, offering improved medical facilities in the community and addressing community wellness objectives. However, upon detailed analysis of the options before us, we felt the OSU proposal was the better fit for Kingsdale and the community at this time.

The 100,000-square-foot project, as proposed, represents a $22-million investment in our most central commercial district. Upon completion, which is expected by 2016, the Medical Center will occupy 80 percent of the building, with plans for expanding to full occupancy as patient volume and services increase. Initially, there will be 155 employees, generating approximately $16 million in payroll. Additionally, the development will generate approximately $350,000 in local property taxes each year.

The work is not yet complete on this proposal and in the coming weeks, we will be working diligently with Medical Center representatives and UA City Council to finalize details. We are optimistic, however, that we can bring forth a final development agreement for council approval by its July 14 meeting, with the OSU board approving the agreement by early August.

This project will strengthen the community's ties to Ohio State University and continue what has been a tremendously successful partnership with Continental. This project is a key economic development achievement for the community.

My thanks to all involved parties in working so hard to bring this vision for Kingsdale to reality. I also wish to express our gratitude to OhioHealth representatives for their good-faith efforts on a sound proposal that any community could be proud of.

We hope to continue discussions with OhioHealth into the future to see if we can find another option for also bringing this fine institution into our community.

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

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