Westerville News & Public Opinion

City plans reduction in purchase of Altair tract

Amended legislation is for $200,000 less, 5 fewer acres


Westerville City Council is considering a bond package to purchase a slightly smaller portion of the undeveloped land at the southeast corner of Cleveland Avenue and Polaris Parkway.

Last July, council approved issuing nearly $17 million in bonds for the purchase of the 67-acre Altair property.

However, the city now is looking to purchase only 62 acres, with an option for the additional five, said City Manager Dave Collinsworth.

Westerville City Council heard the first reading of legislation Feb. 18 to issue $6.8 million in bonds for the land, and an additional $10 million to reimburse the current property owner for money already paid to the city for infrastructure development on the land.

The property is owned by Altair Realty Ltd. and North Westerville Ltd., both of which were incorporated by Jerome G. Solove, according to state records.

A development plan for the site was approved by the city in 2001 and updated in 2005, but no development has moved forward on the site in that time.

The city announced last summer that it intended to purchase the land so it could market it to potential developers, with visions of a hotel or conference center, retail and office space mixed on the site.

Council is scheduled to vote on the revised bond issuance legislation at its March 4 meeting.

If approved, bonds would be drawn up to be issued in mid-April, Collinsworth said, allowing the purchase to move forward.