Four Seasons Golf Center, 5000 E. Broad St., will close by Feb. 28, according to an out-of-court settlement the city has reached with the owners of the golf dome just east of South Hamilton Road in Whitehall.

Four Seasons Golf Center, 5000 E. Broad St., will close by Feb. 28, according to an out-of-court settlement the city has reached with the owners of the golf dome just east of South Hamilton Road in Whitehall.

The city will pay the owners of Four Seasons $250,000 to vacate the 37 acres it has leased since 2001, Whitehall Development Director Zach Woodruff said.

The settlement allows the city to move forward with plans for the commercial development of about 13 acres fronting the north side of East Broad Street and adding the remaining 24 acres to Whitehall Community Park, Woodruff said.

"We are pleased with the outcome and that we have an end date," Woodruff said.

According to the settlement, in exchange for the $250,000 payout, Four Seasons Golf Center will cease operations no later than Feb. 28 and vacate the premises by March 7, Woodruff said.

The settlement ends a complaint both parties had filed in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.

Whitehall officials argued that Four Seasons Golf Center missed a deadline to renew a five-year lease that the city said expired March 31.

Whitehall's decision not to renew a lease prompted Four Seasons to file a complaint asking that the city be compelled to extend a lease through March 31, 2021, based on information from city officials in December 2015 that it did not oppose renewing the lease.

Four Seasons also filed a separate complaint that Whitehall failed to escrow a portion of the lease payments to fund the construction of a replacement dome for the indoor driving range.

Woodruff said the city will immediately begin working to identify tenants for the commercial, retail and office uses leaders have envisioned.

"We will start now," Woodruff said.

The city netted about $65,000 a year leasing the land to Four Seasons, Woodruff said.

According to a study the city commissioned from the Montrose Group and presented to City Council in September, the 37-acre site is best suited for office space.

However, Woodruff said 24 acres will be added to Whitehall Community Park to compensate for the 6 acres the city sold to Heartland Bank for its new corporate headquarters earlier this year.

The 13 acres slated for commercial, retail and office development are expected to generate about $1 million in annual income-tax revenue for the city.

That revenue, Woodruff said, will fund a Park Improvement Endowment Fund to benefit the programming and infrastructure of parks throughout the city.

City Council passed emergency legislation Dec. 6 after its first and only reading approving the terms of the settlement.

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