For Worthington, 2018 brought the expansion of local businesses, major ballot issues and the beginning of a significant construction project on the city's northern doorstep. These are Worthington's top 5 storylines of the year:
DUAL PURPOSES -- Local voters approved Worthington Schools' $89 million bond issue and a permanent incremental operating levy on the Nov. 6 ballot.
The levy will start at 2.9 mills and increase by 2 mills each year until it caps at 8.9 mills in the fourth year. Both issues will cost taxpayers a combined total of $191 per $100,000 of property value in the first year, district treasurer Jeff McCuen said.
The bond will fund renovations and additions to all middle schools, technology updates and other upgrades.
Superintendent Trent Bowers said the district is working toward a fall 2021 opening of the renovated middle schools that will include students in sixth through eighth grade. Currently, sixth-grade classes are held in the elementary buildings.
Worthington Schools’ bond and levy requests approved by large margins
Worthington Schools’ issues 9 and 10 have dual purposes
Worthington’s upgraded middle schools could open by 2021
POWER PLAY -- Worthington residents also bought into Issue 39 on the Nov. 6 ballot, allowing city leaders to consider whether to pool the community's purchasing power to negotiate a bulk price and potentially lower electricity bills.
The measure was introduced in March by Worthington City Council members David Robinson and Doug Smith. Robinson said the goal is threefold: to save households money, to have a renewable-energy option available to residents and to have a no-cost opt-out option for every resident. The aggregation process will begin in January.
Power play? Issue 39 would let Worthington buy electricity in bulk
Residents give Worthington permission to explore electricity aggregation
Worthington’s electricity-aggregation process will begin in January
COHATCH KEEPS WORKING -- Worthington-based COhatch, a 2016 startup that rents co-working, events and office space to businesses and individuals, facilitated several expansions in 2018. In April, the company opened the Madery, a "maker and market space" in of the basement of the Kilbourne Memorial Building, 752 High St. in Worthington, where the Library also is based. In July, COhatch announced the Pub at 1554 Polaris Parkway in Columbus' Polaris Fashion Place, and in December opened the Hub, a flexible retail and meeting space inside the mall.
The company also announced plans for three other locations during the year: the Newsstand at 18. E. William St. in Delaware, the Overlook at 1735 W. Lane Ave. in Upper Arlington, the Market at 101 S. Fountain Ave. in Springfield. Founder Matt Davis said he plans to open 12 locations throughout central Ohio in the next five years.
COhatch fashions Hub co-working space at Polaris
Co-working concept COhatch keeps expanding
Worthington-based Eleventh Candle sheds light on human trafficking
Co-working, community space: COhatch renovating spot at Shops on Lane Avenue
Ball rolling on COhatch’s revamp of downtown Delaware space
GREEN WAVE -- Lime, a California-based bike-, e-bike- and e-scooter-sharing company that functions through an app, brought bikes to Worthington for a six-month trial that started in May. Local leaders said feedback on the Lime bikes mostly was positive. On the other hand, they said, the company's popular scooters likely would not be welcomed into the city because they are difficult to regulate.
LimeBike’s central Ohio inroads lead to Worthington
Local leaders: Feedback on Lime bikes mostly positive
Worthington unlikely to hop on scooter craze
TURNING PAGES -- Witness Hospitality moved forward with plans to turn the former Holiday Inn at 7007 N. High St. into Village at Worthington Square, a mixed-use development. The Holiday Inn closed last summer, its contents were sold in September and it started being demolished last week. The Village at Worthington Square is expected to include a 111-room, 4-story Hampton Inn & Suites, with up to five other buildings that will contain office space, restaurants and small service-oriented businesses. The project is expected to begin in 2019.
Mixed-use Holiday Inn site redevelopment in homestretch
Contents sale signals next steps for Worthingon’s Holiday Inn site
Declining revenue prompts Convention & Visitors Bureau of Worthington’s call to dissolve