A developer has its eye on a sizable swath of land set to be annexed from Jersey Township into New Albany.
New Albany City Council and Jersey Township trustees have approved an annexation agreement for 108 acres east of the Franklin County line, west of Beech Road, north of Smith's Mill Road and south of Jug Street. The land is immediately west of Faith Life Church, 2407 Beech Road.
Pam Jones, deputy clerk for the Licking County Commissioners, said the annexation hasn't been filed with the county. She said it was expected to be filed with the commissioners Tuesday, Feb. 6, and approved Thursday, Feb. 8.
The owner is listed as "PNC Bank, Trustee of the Albert A. Strauss Trust," according to city documents related to the annexation.
Although an end user hasn't been identified, developer Power Grid is interested in putting the property into contract, said Jennifer Chrysler, New Albany's community-development director.
City leaders have discussed zoning the land to be consistent with the rest of the New Albany International Business Park, Chrysler said. To that end, possible uses could include offices, data centers and manufacturing.
Although city leaders don't know what development would occur on the property, the annexation agreement with the township includes a plan for reimbursing its fire department for funds that could be affected if the city decided to create a tax-increment-financing district on the property, Chrysler said.
A TIF is an economic-development mechanism available to local governments to finance public-infrastructure improvements and, in certain circumstances, residential rehabilitation, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.
A TIF locks in the taxable worth of real property at the value it holds at the time the authorizing legislation is approved, diverting resulting incremental revenue to designated uses, such as funding necessary improvements or infrastructure to support a new development.
Revenue that exceeds the locked-in valuation of the land is diverted from the entities that typically receive property-tax revenue, including school districts, parks districts, libraries and fire departments.
If the city were to enact a TIF on the land, it would reimburse the township for 100 percent of any fire funding that would be diverted, Chrysler said.
Also included in the annexation agreement is a plan for the city and township to cooperate on possible infrastructure improvements in the area, such as to Central College Road and Jug Street.
The city's plan to compensate the township for fire funding "was a win for the township," said trustee Jim Endsley.
Because of this compensation, township residents wouldn't have to subsidize fire funds should a TIF be created on the land, he said.
"That's why it's important for the township to be a part of this annexation agreement," Endsley said.