Priority Designs incentive deal inches toward council approval
Whitehall City Council on Oct. 1 took the next steps necessary for two new businesses and a state agency to move to Whitehall.
A resolution was introduced Oct. 1 to authorize Mayor Kim Maggard to enter into payroll incentive agreement with Priority Designs to relocate to Whitehall from Gahanna.
Priority Designs is expected to purchase the former site of the Bill Swad Chevrolet dealership at 100 S. Hamilton Road. The 5.5-acre site has been vacant for about five years.
Priority Designs will purchase the site from the city for $475,000 and invest about $3 million in site improvements.
The product design firm, with clients including Lowe's and Electrolux, will refurnish the former automotive site into its corporate campus. The company currently has about 55 employees and a total payroll of about $4 million, according to Zach Woodruff, the city's development director.
"We're still fine-tuning the details of the agreement," Woodruff said Oct. 4.
The resolution is scheduled for a second reading Oct. 15. An exhibit will be added to the resolution to specify the agreement details.
Council on Oct. 1 held a second reading for an ordinance authorizing Maggard to enter into an economic development agreement with First Community Bank, 4300 E. Broad St.
The agreement provides for Whitehall to reimburse the bank an amount equal to 35 percent of income taxes due for 2014 and 2015. The payment is reimbursement for the cost of renovations the bank has made to two floors of its building.
As a result of the improvements, the bank was able to secure a tenant, Woodruff said. The two floors had been unused since 1996. An unnamed state department is expected to occupy the two floors.
The issue is scheduled for a third and final reading Oct. 15.
Lastly, council on Oct. 1 adopted legislation transferring ownership of two parcels to the Whitehall Community Improvement Corp.
Lubell Laboratories Inc. is expected to move its corporate offices from North Stanwood Drive in Bexley to South Yearling Road in Whitehall by the end of the year, Woodruff said.
Lubell Laboratories will purchase the two undeveloped parcels from the city for $20,000.
Three full-time employees will move to Whitehall, with a combined annual payroll of about $200,000, Woodruff said. Two full-time employees are expected to be added.
No incentives were offered or are tied to the opening.
Lubell Laboratories does not manufacture any equipment on site, so the new office will serve as a corporate office, Woodruff said.
The parcel is zoned to allow for the intended use.
In other action Oct. 1, a second reading was held for an ordinance allowing a special permit for Village Baptist Church to conduct worship services at property the church owns at 4880 Langley Ave. It is scheduled for a third reading and public hearing Oct. 15.