The Worthington Gateway development is expected to start construction before winter, according to Worthington leaders.

Economic-development director David McCorkle said he spoke to the development company, Witness Group, a few weeks ago, and its representatives said they were aiming for a late fall start on the former Holiday Inn property at 7007 N. High St.

No one from the Witness Group responded to ThisWeek's requests for comment Aug. 28 and Sept. 3.

The Worthington Gateway, the Witness Group's mixed-use redevelopment of the hotel site, 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.

Last December, crews began demolishing the 232-room 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 tax-increment-financing district, according to the meeting agenda.

The TIF and a development agreement was approved April 15.

McCorkle previously said the 30-year "nonschool" TIF agreement 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.

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