Annexation agreement would add 26 acres to New Albany International Business Park

Gary Seman Jr.
ThisWeek group

New Albany officials are considering an agreement to facilitate the annexation of 56.2 acres into the city from Jersey Township in Licking County.

The annexation would include 26 acres that would be added to the New Albany International Business Park.

Attorney Aaron Underhill represents Maria Herman, the owner and trustee of the 26 acres, which are in two parcels and are known as the Herman trust.

MBJ Holdings LLC, an affiliate of the New Albany Co., is in contract to purchase the parcels owned by the Herman trust, Underhill said.

MBJ Holdings is seeking the annexation to New Albany in order to have access to public utilities, police protection and comprehensive planning, zoning and building services, among other municipal amenities, he said.

Unincorporated areas of Jersey Township do not have any ability to provide public utility services, necessitating annexation in order to pursue property development of any significance, Underhill said.

A few other nearby tracts would be subject to the annexation agreement, which allows for them to be annexed in the future should those owners so choose, according to Underhill. However, they are not part of the MBJ Holdings request, he said.

New Albany officials are considering an agreement to facilitate the annexation of up to 56.2 acres from Jersey Township in Licking County.

Herman owns the two eastern-most parcels named in the agreement, which lists seven total parcels.

John and Joyce Wagner own three parcels to the west of and adjacent to the Herman parcels.

The other two tracts are to the west of and adjacent to the Wagner parcels. One is owned by a subsidiary of American Electric Power and the other is owned by Licking Rural Electrification Inc.

New Albany City Council started the legislative process Dec. 1 by allowing City Manager Joseph Stefanov to enter into an agreement with Jersey Township officials.

Stefanov said the Herman tract would become part of the New Albany International Business Park, where 15,000 people are employed.

The land is east of Beech Road, adjacent to Jug Street and near Smith’s Mill Road, which leads to the business park.

“The community is growing, and annexing parts around the business park are critical to that growth and, we think, prosperity of the region,” Stefanov said.

The next step is approval from the Licking County Board of Commissioners. Next, it would return to City Council for approval after 60 days, Stefanov said.

No specific use or user has been identified for the property being annexed, Underhill said.

“The New Albany Co. and the city have a long track record of proactively annexing land and zoning it in a manner that makes it immediately marketable for employment-generating uses,” Underhill said. “The market has remained strong for this type of development, and this annexation is the first step in creating another marketable site.”

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary