Ohio State Bank plans to open Upper Arlington branch

NATE ELLIS
nellis@thisweeknews.com
This rendering shows the proposed development by Ohio State Bank, a project will include remodeling the interior of the 5,994-square-foot building at 1776 W. Lane Ave.

Representatives of Ohio State Bank hope to expand into Upper Arlington by mid-2021 with a redevelopment project that includes opening the company's second central Ohio branch.

A construction schedule has yet to be determined, but bank President Dave Mallett said Aug. 5 he has begun to solicit bids to redevelop 1776 W. Lane Ave.

The project will include remodeling the interior of the 5,994-square-foot building at the northeast corner of Lane Avenue and Northwest Boulevard that formerly housed Oh, Know! The Knowing Place and Craig King Realty Group.

It also calls for the demolition of a single-family home at 2508 Northwest Blvd. to make way for a drive-thru ATM and a 19-space parking lot.

"It's great," Mallett said. "It's taken a while, but that's not anyone's fault.

"It takes time to get plans and get approval. We're looking at maybe the second quarter of next year being open."

Currently, Ohio State Bank has a branch at 2511 E. Main St. in Bexley that opened in April 2019.

Mallett said the bank's executives and investors always intended to open a branch in Upper Arlington.

"We don't really have a headquarters," he said. "We will have offices in both cities, and both are very important to us."

The bank's plans were unanimously approved by the Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning on July 20.

The plans were downsized from an original proposal that called for the building at 1776 W. Lane Ave. and the house at 2508 Northwest Blvd. to be demolished and replaced with a mixed-use building that would have housed a 4,315-square-foot bank branch and second-floor offices for the bank.

Those original plans also included an adjacent 2,070-square-foot space that could be a restaurant, retail or an office.

However, Mallett said, the original project proved too costly and there would not have been enough parking spaces on the site to support the larger project.

As a result, Ohio State Bank scaled back the project from a reconstruction to a renovation. When it opens, the business is expected to have about six employees, Mallet said, adding that it could house up to 25 employees in the future.

"You won't recognize the building," he said. "We want to make it look right.

"That's an important corner for Upper Arlington."

Mallet said the project would yield basement space that could be converted into additional bank space in the future, or possibly be leased to another tenant.

In supporting the proposal, Justin Milam, Upper Arlington senior planner, said Ohio State Bank officials could expand their project in coming years.

"This application brings a new corporate bank tenant to the community and to the Lane Avenue corridor," Milam said. "The (original) concept proved to be too costly, so the applicant is looking to rehabilitate existing structures while still keeping an eye on a future redevelopment of the entire block, should additional property be available (or) acquired.

"The plan will bring forward significant improvements to the streetscape and provide safer access to the site."

Both former tenants at the corner have cleared out of existing space at 1776 W. Lane Ave.

Milam said he was unsure if Oh, Know! relocated, and a call to the business said its telephone number had changed and the new number was unknown.

Craig King Realty Group moved to 1560 Fishinger Road, Suite 170, in Upper Arlington March 15, according to a representative of that company.

nellis@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekNate

Ohio State Bank is expected to expand into Upper Arlington by mid-2021. The bank has begun to solicit bids to redevelop 1776 W. Lane Ave. that formerly housed Oh, Know! The Knowing Place and Craig King Realty Group.