A land deal between the city of Canal Winchester and a Kansas City company could net the city hundreds of thousands of dollars and open a new area for industrial development.
Canal Winchester City Council approved an emergency ordinance at its Feb. 4 meeting authorizing Mayor Michael Ebert to transfer 110.2 acres along Bixby Road to NorthPoint Development LLC of Kansas City, Missouri.
While some of the Bixby Road property is within Canal Winchester city limits, the remainder must be annexed. Franklin County commissioners agreed to the annexation at the end of January; it's slated to be acted on by Canal Winchester City Council on April 1.
The city plans to purchase the property, which is currently owned by Willis M. Alspach, Joan A. Alspach and David Benjamin Alspach, for $8,500 per acre.
According to the pending real estate contract, NorthPoint would purchase the land for $15,000 per acre.
Canal Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire said the sale could net the city $600,000 once all real estate-related costs are paid, if the company approves the contract after it completes the due-diligence process.
"Hopefully, we can align the closing dates," Haire said. "The hope is we would be closing in June and construction would start thereafter."
Haire said NorthPoint is one of the largest industrial developers in the country.
"They're the second-largest landlord in the United States," he said. "They would be partnering with another developer on this site out of Dallas. They're good partners to have in this."
When reached by telephone last week, Tim McElroy, NorthPoint's vice president of development, said the firm is "studying" the opportunity to purchase the property, which is on the south side of Bixby Road at the northeast corner of Rager Road and U.S. Route 33.
McElroy described the project as "industrial," noting that the company has developed other properties south of Rickenbacker Airport in Groveport. It also is finishing a project in Ashville.
NorthPoint's website describes the company as one that has "developed more than 49,000,000 square feet of Class A industrial product since our inception in 2012." The website said the company leased more than 13.2 million square feet "of Class A warehouse space" around the country last year.
It also lists General Motors as one of the company's largest customers. Other customers include Amazon, Walmart, United Parcel Service and General Electric.
Haire said NorthPoint "builds mostly warehouses and distribution but could build manufacturing."
In previous discussions about the project, Councilman Bob Clark described the land deal as "a critical purchase for our community."
"I think this is going to pay dividends years down the road," he said in November. "We need to create jobs; we need to create employment; we need to bring new wealth into the community ... and we can do other things like infrastructure that we need, so hats off for finding this property."