Worthington City Council has approved the final pieces of legislation pertaining to the redevelopment of the former Holiday Inn site at 7007 N. High St.
David McCorkle, Worthington’s economic-development director, said a tax-increment-financing district and a development agreement approved Monday, April 15, would be the last steps for the project.
“This is the last piece of legislation you’ll see regarding the Worthington Gateway,” he said.
The Worthington Gateway, the Witness Group’s mixed-use redevelopment of 7007 N. High St., 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.
Last December, crews began demolishing the 232-room hotel Holiday Inn that had stood for more than 40 years on the southwest corner of High Street and West Wilson Bridge Road, just inside Interstate 270.
In March, City Council approved 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 TIF, according to the meeting agenda. Council members voted 7-0 in favor of each measure.
For the final round of legislation, City Council had a public hearing April 15 before voting 6-0, with Scott Myers absent, to approve the TIF and development agreement.
No one spoke for or against the legislation at the hearing. Ohm Patel, CEO of the Witness Group, was not at the meeting and could not immediately be reached for comment.
McCorkle said the planned-use district rezoning of the property would go into effect in May. He said construction likely would start in “late summer,” but he could not give a definite timeline for the project.
He said the TIF would be a 30-year “nonschool” TIF agreement that is projected to generate $6.2 million over a 30-year-period. The reimbursement to the developer is projected to be $5.2 million, including interest, during the same period, he said.
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.