During the past few years, Pickerington has been working on a comprehensive development plan to attract industries that would provide professional jobs for its residents and provide additional revenue for the city.
In April 2009, city council approved a corridor study and plan for Diley Road that outlined the areas for development and redevelopment. It has also specified what industries it would like to target and is currently developing a corridor study and plan for Refugee Road.
In addition, in June of this year, council approved an incentive program that provides grants to the healthcare, technology, research and development and financial services industries that meet specific requirements.
To that end, the city is continuing its efforts to attract development and has sought advice from the board of consultants committee commissioned by the Columbus Board of Realtors.
The board of consultants is comprised of realtors selected by the Columbus Board of Realtors president and the members specialize in residential and commercial development.
The board met with the city to tour its prime areas for development and brainstorm ideas and ways the city could better market itself as an attractive place to do business.
The board of consultants consists of nine members, seven of whom were present for the Aug. 26 meeting. All of them are volunteers who care about the Central Ohio region and want to give back, Pickerington Councilman Gavin Blair said.
The board was formed in 1980, but has been inactive for the past seven years or so, Blair said.
It was instrumental in helping develop the arena district and the convention center, he added.
Although most of the boards work has been with the city of Columbus, this year it has reached out to the suburbs and offers its services free of charge, he said.
Pickerington is one of the first Central Ohio suburbs to utilize the boards services.
The citys focus area is primarily the Diley Road corridor because of its centralized location between I-70 and U.S. 33, Blair said.
Several recommendations were provided by the consultants. Some will be implemented immediately and others will be considered in the future.
Currently, the city is looking into signage that would clarify the connection between I-70 and U.S. 33 via S.R. 256 and Diley Road, Development Director Susan Crotty said.
The city also plans to expand its outreach by creating new marketing materials and will focus on networking with development professionals in Central Ohio, she said.
Blair said the board intends to reach out to Reynoldsburg as well and has already had preliminary discussions with Canal Winchesters development director, Chris Strayer.
No future meetings between Pickerington and the board of consultants are currently scheduled, Blair said.
However, the city is free to contact the board at any time throughout the process, he added.