New Albany officials say this year they will welcome more companies to the city's business parks and finish construction of the community health center at the southwest corner of Village Hall and Johnstown roads.

New Albany officials say this year they will welcome more companies to the city's business parks and finish construction of the community health center at the southwest corner of Village Hall and Johnstown roads.

Several businesses are expected to open or expand in 2014:

* Discover Financial Services will add 162 employees to the 1,537 working at its call center. The new jobs were announced in 2012 when the company committed to build a 97,000-square-foot data center on the north side of its current building.

* The MXD Group of Westerville, formerly known as Exel Direct, and its parent company, Platinum Equity, agreed in 2013 to establish a joint headquarters in New Albany.

The headquarters is expected to open this year with 70 jobs and double the number of jobs within three years.

* The Daimler Group will break ground on a 67,200-square-foot office building on Nacot Place. No tenants have been announced.

* M2 Marketplace is expected to open a single-story, 20,000-square-foot building in the research and information district off Central College Road to be staffed by five employees from Sarcom, a Lewis Center-based affiliate of M2 Marketplace that specializes in information-technology services. Both companies are owned by PC Mall.

* Compass Datacenters is expected to build five new data centers in the Central College Business Campus on New Albany Road East, some of which could be open in 2014.

Revenue and growth

New Albany added more than 1,500 jobs in 2013 at its business campuses, which generated up to $150,000 in income-tax revenue, said city spokesman Scott McAfee.

McAfee said income-tax revenues are expected to increase in 2014, with new businesses set to open and companies that opened in 2013 paying income taxes for one full year.

New Albany is expected to add a COTA bus loop to service the business campuses this year and add a second hotel: a 114-room Hampton Inn, which will be built on Woodcrest Way.

The city also is expected to make improvements to the business parks that are needed because of the recent expansions.

The city must widen Beech Road from Jug Street south to Smith's Mill Loop Road; add a second water tower and a second water line to service the Personal Care and Beauty Campus; and extend the fiber-optics lines in the Personal Care and Beauty Campus to loop and connect with other fiber lines so that if one line has an interruption in service, the business park would not lose access.

City officials also plan to connect businesses in the Zarley Industrial Park to the medical facilities on Forest Drive with the extension of Zarley Street to Forest Drive.

New health facility

The city is working with the Daimler Group to build a two-story, 52,000-square-foot community health facility on land owned by the New Albany Co.

Construction is expected to wrap up this year -- likely in the fall, city officials have said.

The conceptual name for the health center is the Core, the New Albany Center for Community Health.

The first floor of the facility is expected to include community rooms and a demonstration kitchen for Healthy New Albany.

A fitness facility operated by Integrated Wellness Partners through a partnership with the Ohio State University and a three-lane therapeutic pool also are planned.

The second floor will include medical services provided by Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center and Nationwide Children's Hospital.

Nationwide Children's Hospital is expected to have 40 to 50 employees providing consultations in sports medicine and pediatric orthopedics. The Wexner Medical Center will lease 70 percent of the facility for clinical outpatient services, physician offices and rehabilitation services.

The project is expected to cost $12.25 million, with Ohio State contributing $500,000 and the city providing $1.5 million, city officials have said.

Strategic planning

New Albany officials are expected in 2014 to complete an update of its strategic plan, which will include its first thoroughfare plan, McAfee said.

"It is a study of the next 10 to 20 years of traffic volumes and road connections that will tell us where we may need to develop future roads and how we can maintain the (rural) character of our community," McAfee said.

Last year, city officials introduced plans to build a roundabout at Market and Main streets to handle traffic generated by the new community health center.

The project will require 0.31 acres of right of way from six parcels on the north, south and west sides of the intersection, which are owned by the New Albany Co., one of the company's subsidiaries and the city.

The roundabout proposal has received mixed reviews from several members of city boards and commissions. Discussion of the proposal will continue this year.

Leisure trails

McAfee said city officials hope to make several leisure-trail connections, including:

* Connection of the Tidewater subdivision to the leisure trail on Central College Road by crossing the Blacklick Creek.

* Connection of state Route 605 from Chatham Green to Kardules Way.

* Connection of Meadway Drive to the New Albany Church of the Resurrection driveway on the north side of Dublin-Granville Road.

* Connection of the Ealy House driveway to Market Street on the south side of Dublin-Granville Road.