Westerville News & Public Opinion

November construction start

Tax break OK'd in Westerville for Daimler's fifth Westar building

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The Daimler Group will receive a 65-percent property-tax abatement on its fifth Westar office building, on which the developer is set to break ground in early November.

At its Sept. 17 meeting, Westerville City Council unanimously approved a resolution allowing the city manager to extend a 12-year, 100-percent property tax abatement for the building, with an annual 35-percent payment in lieu of tax.

The city estimated the payment in the first years of the abatement to total $129,000, based on the estimated value of the construction project, with $121,500 of that money going to the Westerville City School District, said Westerville Economic Development Administrator Jason Bechtold.

The abatement would become active the first year the building would be taxable, and the 12-year abatement must begin by 2016 and end by Dec. 31, 2027.

The four-story, 106,000-square-foot building at 360 Polaris Parkway will be the Daimler Group's fifth lining the north side of Polaris Parkway between Cleveland Avenue and Africa Road. The newest building, estimated to cost $13 million to construct, will be near the northwest corner of Polaris and Africa.

The preliminary development plan for the site also shows a sixth Daimler Group office building, but final plans for that building have not been set.

A final development plan was approved by the Westerville Planning Commission for the fifth building in June, and the developer is now undergoing the city's permitting process for the building, according to the city's report on the abatement.

At full capacity, the building would house an estimated 325 jobs, Bechtold said, with a payroll of $13 million.

That would mean approximately $260,000 in additional income-tax revenue annually for the city, Bechtold said.

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