The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center plans to adjust some of the language in a proposed economic development agreement with Dublin for construction of an outpatient medical center.

The goal is to return with revised language by the time the ordinance comes up for a second reading by Dublin City Council members April 8, according to Dan Like, executive director of ambulatory services at the OSU Wexner Medical Center.

At issue is a portion of the agreement that concerns what could be developed on city-owned land surrounding the proposed development.

City Council members March 11 held the first reading of an ordinance that, if approved, would award tax incentives to the medical center for the construction of the outpatient facility, proposed for a 34-acre site owned by Dublin near state Route 161, U.S. Route 33 and Shier Rings Road.

That land is a section of a 79-acre swath Dublin owns.

Mayor Greg Peterson said although he thought the project was "incredibly exciting," he was concerned with a portion of the agreement that would place restrictions on what the city could do with the remaining land.

Peterson said he had an issue with language that stated the city couldn't sell the land to anyone who would create any patient care services that would directly compete with services OSU would offer within its 34-acre development now or in the future.

"I'm trying to think 10 years from now," he said.

Peterson said he felt that language would discourage anyone in the healthcare industry from purchasing the land.

"I like everything about this project," he said. "I don't like this language."

Councilman John Reiner and Vice Mayor Chris Amorose Groomes expressed similar concern.

During the meeting, Like said he would work with city staff to tighten up that portion of the agreement in a way that both sides could feel good about the end result.

In addition to stipulating future land use for adjacent city-owned land, the agreement also spells out financial incentives for Ohio State.

The proposed incentive is a 15 percent performance incentive for 10 years (2023-32) on net new withholdings, capped at $1.1 million total, once that threshold is reached within the defined term, regardless of calendar year, according to a March 5 staff memo to council members.

The project is expected to bring substantial economic and social benefits to Dublin, including the creation of about 350 new employment opportunities with a projected payroll exceeding $50 million annually within the first 10 years of operation of the project and the retention of nearly 60 existing full-time equivalent jobs and nearly $6 million in annual payroll, according to the memo.

Under the agreement between the city and OSU, the university would be required to pay 32.5 percent toward related public infrastructure improvements, including the realignment of Shier-Rings Road, the relocation of a ditch and improvements in water, sewer and Dublink fiber optic service.

Additionally, Ohio State would contribute $1.25 million to the construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Avery and Shier-Rings roads, according to the memo.

A target schedule included in the memo shows Ohio State is slated to close on property acquisition in May 2020, with construction in October 2020 and occupancy between June and September 2022.

Like said the university board of trustees approved the project's land acquisition and economic development agreement at its meeting during the week of Feb. 18.

If City Council members approve the agreement, Ohio State can begin work on land acquisition and with the Dublin Planning and Zoning Department staff on building design, Like said.

"We would need to go back to our board for design and construction approval once we are at that point in the process," he said.

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