A two-story building for office suites will be constructed at the northwest corner of Britton Parkway and Davidson Road after Hilliard City Council on Sept. 25 approved a 15-year property-tax abatement for the developer, Indianapolis-based Envoy Inc.

"This will be a great addition to our city," said David Meadows, Hilliard's economic-development director.

The development will be known as Hilliard Office Suites.

The approximately 35,000-square-foot building will contain 140 to 150 small office suites and four large conference rooms that tenants would share and be required to reserve, said Brad Untrauer, development manager for Envoy, which has similar buildings in Dallas and Indianapolis.

"We think we fill a gap in the small-business market," Untrauer said.

Office suites pull small-business owners "out of their basements and garages (and) into a professional setting," he said.

It provides a professional place to meet clients and customers and often is a stepping stone for growing companies, he said.

Libby Gierach, president and CEO of the Hilliard Area Chamber of Commerce, said such a development is welcome in the city.

"I can't tell you how many times I've been asked about office space available in Hilliard," she said. "This will be a great addition to our business community."

Untrauer said he acknowledged some businesses would fail but the model would generate new jobs and revenue.

Envoy will make an $8.2 million investment in the community to build Hilliard Office Suites, Meadows said.

The project is expected to generate 150 jobs with a payroll of $3.5 million, Meadows said.

City Council applied a Community Reinvestment Act agreement for the parcel on which the office building will be constructed. The CRA program is an economic-development tool administered by municipal and county governments that provides property-tax exemptions for property owners who renovate existing or construct new buildings.

Envoy will receive a 15-year, 100 percent property-tax abatement valued at $2.8 million and a $150,000 one-time grant, Meadows said.

The company will use the grant to either furnish the new building or to reduce debt for the land purchase required for the development, he said.

During the 15-year term of the CRA, the development is projected to generate $1.1 million in new income-tax revenue for the city and $1 million in new property-tax revenue for the Hilliard City Schools, according to Meadows.

Envoy will be required to submit development plans to the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission before proceeding.

The company has been working with staff members to create a development plan but no initial hearing date has been set, Meadows said.

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