Upper Arlington News

Saturday session at UAHS

Town hall meeting called to present two MSC proposals

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Upper Arlington officials will host a "town hall meeting" this Saturday to share preliminary proposals offered by two developers to build professional offices on the city's Municipal Services Center property.

On June 9, Upper Arlington City Council wrapped up a three-hour discussion -- which had been preceded by two hearings by the Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning -- by approving a rezoning of 5.36 acres of the city's MSC site to allow for office development.

The move was opposed by many of the 150 to 200 people who turned out for each of the three meetings to discuss the rezoning; most live in the Trouville condominium community which neighbors the MSC.

A citizens group, the Committee to Overturn MSC Rezoning, filed paperwork late Monday, June 16, with the Franklin County Board of Elections to begin the process to place a referendum on the rezoning before voters in November. Meanwhile, city officials announced last week they are moving toward the development.

A town hall meeting is scheduled this Saturday, June 21, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Upper Arlington High School auditorium, 1650 Ridgeview Road.

To date, Trivium Development LLC has proposed a 36,000-square-foot medical office project, half of which would house the Central Ohio Urology Group.

Daimler Group Inc. and Kohr Royer Griffith Inc. have jointly identified the investment firm Morgan Stanley Wealth Advisors and the commercial insurance agency Overmyer Hall Associates as tenants for a proposed 40,000-square-foot office.

Formal development plans still must be submitted before either proposal can proceed, but UA officials this week said they want to share the preliminary concepts with a greater number of citizens in an effort to gauge local preferences.

"There are two developers interested in the site and their proposals go into enough depth that the administration believes now is an appropriate time to introduce the concepts to the neighbors and other interested residents," said Emma Speight, Upper Arlington's community affairs director. "The goal is to allow the opportunity for community stakeholders to be more involved in the process for this project and for the prospective developers to hear their questions and concerns.

"This approach worked well for the Lane Avenue mixed-use project," she said. "The developers in that case made a number of adjustments to landscaping, parking, the siting of balconies, etc. in direct response to some of the feedback they heard from surrounding neighbors."

Resident response from Saturday's town hall meeting will be provided to the Upper Arlington Community Improvement Corp., which will choose a project to recommend to city council.

"Both proposals are strong," Speight said. "Once the preferred proposal is selected, discussions will begin in earnest to draw up a development agreement and formal development plan."

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