Upper Arlington News

Wexner Medical seeks to build at Kingsdale

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Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center this week announced plans to open a new, 100,000-square-foot health-care facility in the Kingsdale Center by 2016.

Officials from Upper Arlington and Wexner Medical Center said June 2 they're working to finalize an agreement whereby a new health-care center featuring primary and specialty care services would be constructed along Zollinger Road, immediately west of an existing water tower at the Kingsdale Center.

If the project is approved by Upper Arlington City Council, the Wexner Medical Center board of trustees and the Ohio State University board of trustees, it would yield a five-story, $22-million facility to be built and owned by Continental Real Estate Cos.

Wexner Medical Center would lease the building, initially using 80 percent of it, with the remaining space reserved for future expansion.

According to Wexner Medical Center officials, the Upper Arlington facility would employ 155 people and would generate more than $320,000 in annual income taxes and $350,000 in local property taxes each year.

"We're not just opening a medical facility, we're making an investment in the community," said Dan Like, executive director of ambulatory services at Wexner Medical Center. "We want this to be the community's facility."

According to a Wexner Medical Center press release, the Upper Arlington center would open in late 2015 or early 2016. It would provide primary care, and its specialties would include women's health, heart and vascular care, dermatology, allergy, and imaging and laboratory services.

The release stated the facility also would have conference space that would be available to the city, the UA school district and the local community for meetings and special events.

"This is a great opportunity to bring a high-quality facility to Kingsdale, while at the same time providing Upper Arlington residents with improved access to world-class health care," UA City Manager Ted Staton said. "In addition, the new jobs and tax revenue generated will provide an economic boost to the city."

Upper Arlington opened "exploratory discussions" last year about a local health-care project with Wexner Medical Center and OhioHealth, according to Emma Speight, the city's community affairs director. She said those talks resulted in proposals from both groups.

"A comparison of factors that included facility size, number of employees/projected payroll and services offered all indicated that the OSU proposal was, on balance, a richer proposal," Speight said.

If approved, the facility will be built on five acres within the Kingsdale Center that the city purchased from Continental Real Estate in 2009.

Speight said she could not immediately confirm the cost of that purchase, but said future ownership of that land will be addressed as details of the project are finalized over the next three months.

"When the Kingsdale Shopping Center was redeveloped, the council and administration were wise to set aside acreage dedicated to facilitating an office development on the south side of the property," Staton said. "Now more than ever, expanding the professional office and medical business presence in Upper Arlington is critical to our future, in light of significant revenue reductions at the state level."

In a city manager's column provided to ThisWeek Upper Arlington News, Staton said he is "optimistic" that a final development plan for the health-care center would be up for council approval at its July 14 meeting.

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