Dublin City Council members April 22 approved an incentive package for the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to open an outpatient facility in the city.

CORRECTION: Because of a reporting error, ThisWeek Dublin Villager incorrectly attributed a statement to Dublin development director Donna Goss instead of economic-development director Colleen Gilger.

Dublin City Council members April 22 approved an incentive package for the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center to open an outpatient facility in the city.

Council members voted 6-0 in favor of the incentive package. Councilwoman Christina Alutto recused herself from the vote.

The Wexner Medical Center has proposed the development on 34 acres owned by Dublin near state Route 161, U.S. Route 33 and Shier Rings Road.

Council members April 8 postponed the vote on the incentive package to allow more time for negotiations.

At a March 11 meeting, council members expressed concerns about a portion of the agreement that stipulates what could be developed on city-owned land surrounding the proposed development.

Mayor Greg Peterson said at that meeting that 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.

One of the changes in the revised agreement, according to Donna Goss, is that this "competing-use" restriction will only exist for four years instead of being ongoing.

Another goal of the agreement is the cooperation between the city and OSU in marketing development, she said.

The joint marketing enables the city and OSU to look at complementary services that could locate there, rather than focusing on services that would not be permitted, said Dana McDaniel, Dublin city manager.

Claire Wolfe, a Dublin resident and retired doctor, urged council to remove the competing-use restriction entirely.

"Why have it at all? Why do they need 'non-compete' in a contract?" she said at the meeting.

Dan Like, executive director of ambulatory services at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, said OSU is happy with the adjustments to the agreement.

He said he believes the end result is a better, more-proactive approach to developing the area together.

The restrictive-use portion of the agreement, he said, is just a way for OSU to protect its investment.

Incentive details

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

The project is expected to bring substantial economic and social benefits to Dublin, including 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 is required to pay 32.5% 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.

Keith Myers, vice president of planning and real estate for OSU, said the university hopes to begin the rezoning process with the city early this summer.

Nexient proposal

Council members also were slated to vote on a financial incentive package for Silicon Valley headquartered software development company Nexient but tabled the item from the agenda because of ongoing real-estate negotiations, according to Colleen Gilger, Dublin’s director of economic development.

“We continue to work with the company trying to identify other real estate options in Dublin,” Gilger said.

A date has not been scheduled for it to come back to council, said Sue Burness, Dublin's director of communications and public information.

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