Canal Pointe: Annexation makes way for industrial park expansion

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
Canal Winchester municipal offices

Canal Winchester City Council unanimously authorized emergency legislation during its final meeting of 2020 that helps pave the way for expanding the city’s industrial park. 

Council accepted an annexation application of Temmy A. Evans to transfer 75 acres north of U.S. Route 33 (Columbus-Lancaster Road) in Violet Township, just west of the Canal Pointe Commerce and Industrial Park. 

In a move to hasten development, council also approved a request from city Development Director Lucas Haire to amend the property’s zoning to limited manufacturing. 

“When parcels are annexed into the city, they’re generally held as exceptional use until there’s a development proposal,” Haire told council members Dec. 21. “But in this specific case … this helps speed up the timeline and create certainty for industrial developers who are looking to go there.” 

Nearly 30 companies occupy Canal Pointe, leaving limited space for new tenants. 

The newly annexed land borders Nifco America Corp., a maker of plastic clips and fasteners in the automotive industry. The company expanded its footprint in Canal Winchester in 2018 when it announced plans for a new 175,000-square-foot warehouse and production facility at 7877 Robinett Way, near its existing North American headquarters in Canal Pointe. 

Haire did not indicate if any current industrial park tenants were interested in developing the annexed land, which is part of a Cooperative Economic Development Agreement. 

Violet Township’s partnership with Canal Winchester allows for cooperation and promotion of the Fairfield 33 Corridor. 

“There’s an income-tax sharing agreement that was initially passed in 2001, I believe,” Haire said. 

City Council also gave unanimous approval to incorporate the annexed land into the Route 33 Community Reinvestment Area (CRA), which allows tax exemptions, negotiated on a case-by-case basis, for up to 10 years and up to 50% of at least $100,000 in remodeling costs for existing commercial or industrial facilities. 

Exemptions of up to 15 years and up to 100% for new construction of commercial or industrial facilities are permitted on a case-by-case basis. 

The Ohio Revised Code defines a CRA as “one in which housing facilities or structures of historical significance are located, and new housing construction and repair of existing facilities or structures are discouraged.” 

The annexed land does include one unoccupied home at 612 W. Waterloo St., that was built in 1864, according to a housing survey. 

According to city information, the CRA of about 525 acres is bounded on the west by Canal Winchester’s city limits; on the east by Canal Pointe north of Route 33 and the Tussing-Bachmann ditch south of Route 33; on the north by Route 33 to the west and then crossing Route 33 at Cemetery Road and proceeding north to the corporate limits; and to the south by Winchester Boulevard to the west and then following the frontage parcels of Route 33 along Waterloo Street east, including one 7-acre outparcel on the south side of Waterloo and then back north of Waterloo to the Tussing-Bachmann ditch.

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