Grandview Yard could be expanding southward.
Grandview Heights City Council members Sept. 17 approved a resolution supporting the expansion of the Yard site and the revision of the existing agreements between the city, Nationwide Realty Investors and the Grandview Heights City School District.
If negotiations bear fruit, a 14-acre site consisting of six parcels would become part of Grandview Yard, the mixed-use development on the east side of the city.
The land is within Grandview Heights and is south of Goodale Boulevard, west of Twin Rivers Drive and east of Northwest Boulevard.
In addition to including the land as part of the Yard site, the city, NRI and the school district plan to negotiate a revision of the school compensation agreement adopted in 2009 to update the current compensation formula and to increase the district's share of tax-increment financing revenue.
The resolution adopted by council was sponsored by Mayor Ray DeGraw, council President Greta Kearns and four other council members.
Councilmen Steve Reynolds and Anthony Panzera voted against the resolution and were not among the sponsors.
Reynolds said he has a "distaste" for the city being willing to continue to accept what he described as NRI's "our-way-or-the-highway" stance and tie the expansion of the Yard site to the south to the school compensation agreement.
The only way to counter NRI's stance is "to say no and stick with it," Reynolds said. "They would get something even if we don't incorporate south of Goodale within (the Yard site)."
It isn't fair to the school district to connect its receiving of more funds from the Yard to the expansion of the Yard site, he said.
Reynolds said he also is concerned the issue is "muddying the waters" at a time when the school district has placed a facilities bond issue and operating levy on the Nov. 6 ballot.
A resident asked him why the city is taking action that could be perceived as "messing up" the school's ballot effort.
"You can say we're not (doing that), but perception often becomes reality," he said. "I'm concerned that these extraneous issues will have a negative impact in November when they shouldn't."
The city did not have to agree to include the land south of Goodale as part of the Yard site, and it's "short-sighted" to think otherwise, Panzera said.
"(We) would have had the projects south of Goodale anyway," he said.
Because the Yard is performing ahead of expectations, the city had the ability to "incorporate" what would have been TIF payments at the end of the bond period "and begin paying it now to contribute to the (school) levy and still make NRI whole," he said.
NRI said "no" but agreed it could provide more revenue to the schools if that was tied to the extension of the Yard area, Panzera said.
"That's the premise of my fierce opposition" to the resolution, he said.
The idea that NRI is "beating up" the city and the school district is an incorrect perception, said Councilman Chris Smith, who serves as chairman of council's finance committee, which reviewed and recommended by a 2-1 vote that council approve the resolution.
"There are three parties to this and there's compromise," he said. "Compromise doesn't seem to be a good word these days."
The city is not being short-sighted, DeGraw said.
The resolution paves the way for several goals to be accomplished, he said, including developing the land south of Goodale, completing road and infrastructure improvements needed for the area, cleaning up the acreage and providing more money to the school district.
"I see this as an opportunity for the city," he said. "If I didn't think this was the best thing to do, I wouldn't support it."
The proposed infrastructure improvements would include extending Yard Street between Goodale and Swan Street; and Bobcat Avenue and Swan Street west to the western boundary of the W.W. Williams property.
Swan Street also would be extended east to Twin Rivers Drive with the installation of a two-lane roadway with the potential for turn lanes, sidewalks and landscaping.
Twin Rivers would receive minor improvements, including a turn lane at Swan Street.
While no plan formally has been presented to the city for the area's development, the likely scenario would be mixed-use, including retail, office and residential components and a hotel, DeGraw said.
Ultimately, the city will need to renegotiate its development agreement with NRI; reach a development agreement with Tri-W, the company that owns most of the land in question; and complete a renegotiation with NRI and the school district on the updated school compensation agreement, he said.
The proposed development also would have to be reviewed and approved by planning commission and City Council.