Worthington City Council on Monday, March 18, will hold a public hearing and introduce legislation related for two major redevelopment projects that now bear similar names: the Worthington Gateway at the former Holiday Inn site, 7007 N. High St., and the Northeast Gateway at Sancus Boulevard and Worthington-Galena, East Wilson Bridge and Huntley roads.
The meeting will be at 7:30 p.m. in the Worthington Municipal Building, 6550 N. High St.
The public hearing for legislation related to the Worthington Gateway will include ordinances to rezone the former Holiday Inn property from a highway and automotive-services zoning designation to a planned-use district; to approve a final plat and subdivider’s agreement; and to authorize the city to accept a property transfer for the land at 7007 N. High St. to allow establishment of a tax-increment-financing district, according to the agenda.
City Manager Matt Greeson said the TIF component itself and a development agreement would be introduced for public hearing April 15, he said.
Witness Hospitality’s Worthington Gateway mixed-use redevelopment is expected to include a 111-room, 4-story Hampton Inn & Suites, with up to five other buildings that would contain 15,000 to 19,000 square feet of office space and more than 20,000 square feet for restaurants and small service-oriented businesses.
The development previously was known as the Village at Worthington Square, but the developer has changed the name of the project to Worthington Gateway, according to city spokeswoman Anne Brown.
David McCorkle, Worthington’s economic-development manager, said the TIF would be a 30-year “nonschool” TIF agreement.
McCorkle said a TIF is an economic-development tool used to fund public improvements.
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, according to the Ohio Development Services Agency.
McCorkle said under a standard TIF, property-tax revenue generated by the increased value of the site is diverted from entities that typically receive the revenues into a TIF fund.
This can include schools, park districts, libraries and other social-service agencies, he said.
Meanwhile, the Northeast Gateway project right-of-way-acquisition legislation will involve reconfiguration of the road for intersection improvements, according to Tom Lindsey, the city’s law director.
The Northeast Gateway is the moniker city leaders have chosen for the renovation and redesign for the intersection of Sancus Boulevard and Worthington-Galena, East Wilson Bridge and Huntley roads on the north side of the city, just south of Interstate 270.
Lindsey said the project has more than 100 related “real-estate interests.” Some involve temporary easements so that equipment can be stored on the property and other type of uses that don’t involve permanent acquisition, he said.
“(For) most of these, we’re taking additional right of way off of the front of property; that’s why there are so many,” Lindsey said.
City Council would not have to approve all of them, but only those for which the price exceeds $30,000 or the negotiated price of the property exceeds the fair market estimate by $3,000, Lindsey said.
This includes the two parcels that will be brought to City Council on March 18, he said.
Lindsey said the land-acquisition process involves state and federal funding and ODOT regulations for the project.
“I anticipate that we’ll have more coming forward at different times (as contracts are signed),” he said.