Ohio State Wexner: Powell grants two-year extension for outpatient-care facility

Jim Fischer
ThisWeek
A rendering shows Ohio State University's proposed outpatient-care center in Powell. The project was approved Feb. 5, 2019, by Powell City Council, which on Jan. 19 granted Ohio State an extension on approval of its final development plan.

The planned Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center project in Powell is not progressing as anyone had hoped.

Powell City Council on Jan. 19 granted Ohio State an extension on approval of its final development plan.

Council’s original approval was granted Feb. 5, 2019, and was in effect for two years.

Attorney Aaron Underhill, representing Ohio State, told council the delays were related primarily to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

“The university ... had to reprioritize,” Underhill said. “The result is a delay in designing and ultimately getting started on construction of this project. ... By now we would’ve all hoped this project was getting started.” 

The extension granted by council is for two years.

Jeffrey Tyler, the city’s community-development director, said conditions on the original approval concerning lighting, architecture and stormwater, among others, remain in effect under the extension.

Those details will have to be approved by the city’s planning and zoning commission, Tyler said.

Underhill told council it’s possible some of those plans could come before the city “later this year.”

He also assured council the project remains important to Ohio State.

“The medical center does own the property, so they are invested in your community. There is still intent to build, and it will move forward eventually. It’s just going to take a little bit longer,” he said.

University spokesman Dan Hedman agreed.

“The Ohio State University remains committed to developing a Wexner Medical Center Outpatient Care Powell facility,” Hedman told ThisWeek.

“We also recognize the need to be prudent and cautious during these uncertain times. Outpatient Care New Albany is scheduled to open in August 2021 while the Dublin project is just underway and Outpatient Care Powell will follow,” he said.

The ambulatory-care facility would sit on about 30 acres at 3315 Royal Belfast Road, at the northeast corner of Home Road and Sawmill Parkway, across from Olentangy Liberty High School.

At the time of the original approval, the facility was expected to employ up to 500 people with a payroll of up to $50 million in its first phase, followed by another 125 to 500 employees and $9.4 million to $37.5 million in payroll during its second phase.

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