A $7 million expansion of Ten Pin Alley will begin this summer after Hilliard City Council on May 8 unanimously approved legislation applying the Ohio Community Reinvestment Areas program to it.

City Council amended the authorizing ordinance as emergency legislation, making it effective upon its passage.

The measure was approved 6-0, with Councilman Les Carrier absent.

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, according to David Meadows, Hilliard’s economic-development director.

The emergency measure was necessary because approval of the CRA was required for Ten Pin Alley owner Sarah Purdy to secure a loan to move forward with the expansion, said Tracy Bradford, Hilliard’s law director.

No discussion of the CRA occurred May 8 but several City Council members supported the proposal at a public hearing April 24, at which they also criticized Norwich Township trustees for opposing the CRA.

Trustee Chuck Buck said the township opposed the CRA because of the reduction of tax revenue, an opinion Councilman Al Iosue challenged.

“If we don’t offer (the CRA), this project doesn’t happen,” Iosue said April 24.

The CRA provides Ten Pin Alley, 5499 Ten Pin Alley, with a 12-year, 50 percent property-tax abatement.

The value of the CRA is estimated at $1.26 million, or about $105,000 per year, according to David Meadows, Hilliard’s economic-development director.

Over the 12-year term of the CRA, Ten Pin Alley is expected to generate a total of $18,436 in new property-tax revenue for the city of Hilliard, $168,806 for Norwich Township and $809,904 for the Hilliard City Schools, Meadows said.

That is about $83,000 a year in new property taxes the business would pay just to those three local taxing districts, he said. The figure doesn't include other property-tax collectors, such as the Columbus Metropolitan Library.

It also would double after the abatement expires in 12 years, he said.

Currently, Ten Pin pays $25,325 per year to all property-taxing entities, which include the city, township and school district, Meadows said.

Ten Pin Alley also is expected to create 25 jobs as a result of the CRA.

The business currently has 10 full-time and 20 part-time employees with a $524,569 payroll, Meadows said. The payroll generates approximately $10,500 in annual income-tax revenue for the city, he said.

The new jobs, 10 of which would be full time, would be expected to generate $12,161 in new income-tax revenue, meaning the business would generate a little more than $22,600 in income-tax revenue per year for the city, he said.

Purdy’s $7 million investment will more than double the size of Ten Pin Alley, which is 14,600 square feet and has 16 lanes.

The expansion includes 18,700 square feet with an eight-lane VIP room, a two-story laser tag arena, 60-foot bocce ball courts and a remodeled kitchen.

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