Commercial and retail development planned for Obetz

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

A prime parcel of more than 18 acres in Obetz along Groveport Road and Alum Creek Drive—purchased by the village for $4 million—is the next major phase in the village’s development.

Obetz Village Council is moving ahead with an ordinance authorizing an agreement between the village, CBRE Group, and CASTO.

During a May 24 council meeting, council members approved untabling the 2020 ordinance and sending it forward for further action under emergency status.

“It is a very intricate deal,” said Councilman Michael Flaherty, who spearheads the Obetz Development Committee.

Village Administrator Rod Davisson said Obetz bought the property, which is currently a large, paved lot previously used by the auto auction business to the west of the site and intends to use it as a planned commercial district.

Part of the contract between the three-entity partnership guarantees Obetz a 100 percent return on its investment plus $800,000 with a build out of the total commercial/retail project within seven years.

“For a $4 million investment, we get $4.8 million in return,” said Davisson, “plus amenities like restaurants. They’re ready to go. The market is interested. It’s an exciting project and citizens will make money and get the things they’re asking for. It will be managed by CASTO and should be a cool project.”

Law Director Gene Hollins said the commercial and retail development is a good plan for Obetz and, because of the unique nature of the partnership, is a great example of reintroducing an underutilized parcel of land back into the commerce stream.

“We’re a catalyst for the right development,” said Hollins. “CASTO wants to bring in restaurants, multi-use tenants, hotels, retail, commerce and offices. There aren’t that many places out there doing things like Obetz.”

Davisson also discussed the direction the village wants to take regarding the development of more than 800 acres on the west side of Obetz along Lockbourne and Rathmell roads.

A private company hired by the village is working on a master development plan for the area.

“The goal is to have it adopted within 60 days,” said Davisson regarding the plan timeline. “It tells you what should go where—whether a warehouse or a coffee shop should go where. It allows us to capital plan for those projects.”

Mayor Angela Kirk said, while she knows it is a lot of work in a short period of time, she is excited about the plan and knowing that Obetz is in the right place at the right time.

While Davisson acknowledged plans are always subject to change as land is developed, he said, “This attempts to give you some flexibility. Sometimes people drag these plans out one to two years.”

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