After 53 years on Upper Arlington's west side, the Golden Bear Shopping Center will be redeveloped as a 5-story mixed-use project starting next spring.

CORRECTION: The transformed space at the Golden Bear Shopping Center is expected to be available to businesses and residents as soon as January 2022. Because of incorrect information provided to ThisWeek, the print and earlier online version of this story gave the wrong year for availability.

After 53 years on Upper Arlington's west side, the Golden Bear Shopping Center will be redeveloped as a 5-story mixed-use project starting next spring.

The transformed space is expected to be available to businesses and residents as soon as January 2022 but isn't expected to be filled until roughly spring 2022. When finished, it will include 25,000 square feet of first-floor restaurant and retail space, 26,000 square feet of second-floor office space and 79 condominiums to be housed on the project's top three floors.

Construction of the new shopping center will begin next spring, according to Scott Patton, managing partner for the project's developer, Arcadia Development of Ohio LLC. The Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning unanimously approved the company's final development plans Aug. 19.

"Now that we have a project with final development plans approved, that gives us clear direction," Patton said. "We've already been meeting with tenants, letting them know what's going on.

"Our intent is we will give notice to the tenants, and we'll be ready to start on the project in spring 2020."

Patton wouldn't confirm how many current tenants have time left on their leases at 3700 Riverside Drive, at the southwest corner of Riverside Drive and U.S. Route 33.

He said Arcadia has talked to those businesses about plans to redevelop the site and to gauge their interest in staying on after the rebuild.

"We're meeting with individual tenants who have time left on their leases," he said. "We'll start marketing the residential units in October of this year. We're working on the floor plans and all that to be able to get to market.

"The office and retail, we've already started marketing."

The current center is approximately 34,000 square feet in size and features an FC Bank branch and a 1-story shopping plaza that includes Colin's Coffee, Figlio Wood Fired Pizza, Dales Cleaners, Thai Basil, The Esquire Barber Shop and a post office.

Arcadia plans to raze the existing building and bank and replace it with a 68-foot development, which also will have a two-and-half-story, 217-space parking garage behind the new building.

A cell tower and McDonald's, which are next to the development site at 3746 Riverside Drive, will remain in place.

"The subject property, as well as others around it, are ripe for redevelopment and staff is hopeful this exciting project will spur future projects in the area," Upper Arlington Planning Officer Justin Milam stated in an Aug. 19 staff report to the BZAP. "This application has come a very long way since its conception in response to an abundance of feedback from staff, the board and public.

"The 5-story plan offers a high-quality, walkable development that will bring in new energy to the area."

One of the changes Arcadia made since proposing the project in March was to reduce the number of stories from 6 to 5. In doing so, the office and retail spaces were reduced by approximately 6,000 and 7,000 square feet, respectively, and the number of condos was decreased from 112 to 79.

The project marks the second significant development Arcadia will be involved in next spring.

The company also originally proposed the Arlington Gateway development on West Lane Avenue. It remains a partner in the project, which now is led by Continental Real Estate Cos., and will include the estimated $100 million construction of an 11-story mixed-use development at 1325-97 W. Lane Ave. slated to begin in the first quarter of 2020.

Patton said the Golden Bear project will cost $50 million to $60 million.

According to an economic development study for the Golden Bear Shopping Center, the project is expected to lead to approximately $3.9 million in income tax revenue for the city in the first 10 years after it's built.

Property taxes from the project also will go to Upper Arlington Schools.

"I'm pretty excited to be involved in $150 million to $160 million in new development that's going to be coming pretty soon to Upper Arlington," Patton said. "I think everybody in Upper Arlington should be excited.

"It's a dynamic location for both the office and retail, as well as the residential."

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