Westerville News & Public Opinion

Worthington Road extension tied to apartment plan


As the plan for a 504-unit apartment complex takes shape between Polaris Parkway and County Line Road west of Alum Creek, Westerville City Council also is considering steps to construct a road through the development.

Dubbed the Worthington Road Extension, the roadway would extend east from Olde Worthington Road. It would dead end in a roundabout with a north-south connector between Polaris Parkway and County Line Road.

At its Nov. 6 meeting, council heard legislation to purchase three properties at the north end of Taylor Way for $755,000, including $20,000 in closing costs, to accommodate the roadway.

Council also heard legislation to create a Tax Increment Financing district with apartment complex developers NP Limited and Trivium.

While the city would pursue bonds to pay for the cost of constructing the roadway, money collected through the TIF agreement would repay the city for the project over a 30-year period.

City officials have stated they expect to begin work on the $7.9-million roadway in January, although the roadway's future could hinge on whether City Council approves the development plan for the apartment complex. A vote was expected Tuesday, Nov. 13.

City Manager Dave Collinsworth told council Nov. 6 it should either approve or reject all of the pieces of legislation related to the apartment complex and roadway, which included the purchase, annexation and rezoning of the Taylor Way properties, the approval or rejection of the development plan for the apartment complex and the TIF.

"If we fail to pass one, the others would need to go by the wayside, as well," Collinsworth told council.

"If we plan to move forward, we need approval, ultimately, of all four ordinances," he said.

The approval of the ordinances would lead to the multifaceted project that would launch the development for the northwest corner of Westerville, city officials said.

"It is a road project," Collinsworth said.

"It is a multifamily development project," he said.

"It is also an economic development project all rolled into one," Collinsworth said. "This is kind of the kickoff of the development for the future."

City Council Chairman Mike Heyeck questioned whether the city could reject the apartment complex while moving forward with the road.

"If we move forward without the apartments, there isn't a funding mechanism," Heyeck said. "We pay for it from our reserves."

Council was expected to suspend its requirements for three readings of legislation to vote on the land purchase and tax agreement at its Nov. 13 meeting.