Sometimes a loss can still be a gain.

That's the case for Grandview Heights Schools when it comes to the tax abatement and tax-increment financing district proposed for the Grandview Crossing project planned by Wagenbrenner Development.

Grandview Heights City Council is considering legislation to approve 15-year property-tax abatements for the approximately 16-acre portion of the Grandview Crossing development that is located in the city.

The remaining portion of the 53-acre site at the northeast corner of Grandview Avenue and Dublin Road is located in Columbus.

Grandview Crossing is expected to have more than 200,000 square feet of office space, about 128,000 square feet for retail and restaurants and around 1,178 residential units, all of which would be rentals.

In Grandview's portion, the developer is planning up to 50,000 square feet of office space, a hotel with up to 200 rooms, 50,000 square feet of retail space and up to 250 apartment units.

The residential units are expected to include apartments in a multistory senior-housing building open to people 55 and older.

The developer is in discussions with at least two national senior-living companies interested in building the Grandview apartment project, said Steve Simonetti, Wagenbrenner's director of development.

Other apartment units within Grandview city limits would be constructed on the top two floors of a three-story building with retail on the ground floor, he said.

The proposed tax abatements would be 75 percent for the hotel use and 50 percent for the residential and nonretail commercial uses.

"We would not receive that percentage of our share of the tax revenue on the abated properties," Grandview Heights Schools Treasurer Beth Collier said. "We would receive only 50 percent of the taxes from the residential and commercial properties and (25 percent) from the hotel.

"But even with the abatements, we'll be financially ahead of the game, because the reduced amount is still greater than what we are getting now from the undeveloped land," she said.

The district would begin to receive all the revenue from the properties in the 16th year after the abatements take effect, Collier said.

By state law, any tax abatement above 50 percent must be approved by the area school district, she said.

The school board will be presented with a resolution at a later date to give its approval to the hotel tax abatement, Collier said.

City Council also is considering approval of a 30-year, 100 percent tax-increment financing agreement for the Grandview portion of the development.

Under such an agreement, all of the tax revenue coming from the added value of the properties would go into a fund to help pay for infrastructure improvements relating to the project.

The TIF agreement includes a "make whole" arrangement for the schools, Collier said.

"We would not lose any of our share of the tax revenue from the TIF area," she said.

The tax abatements and TIF fund are similar to the agreements that have been adopted by the city of Columbus, Simonetti said.

Wagenbrenner is eager to get started on the Grandview Crossing project after several years of preparatory work, including addressing brownfield issues in the development area, Simonetti said.

"There are some cranes down there and we hope to get started with the project in the spring," he said.

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