By Linda Dillman
Canal Winchester City Council is considering an ordinance addressing community reinvestment area agreements with Northpoint Development for a trio of buildings that previously appeared as a two building development at Rager and Bixby roads at a 15-year, 100 percent real estate abatement.
In 2019, the city adopted a resolution approving the initial CRA agreements with Northpoint. In 2022, the agreements were amended.
“Plans have since changed for that development,” said Canal Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire.
Today, the agreement calls for a 15-year, 75 percent real estate abatement for two 263,000 square foot buildings and one 435,000 square foot building. The smaller structures are each estimated to generate a $12.5 million investment, 100 jobs and a payroll of $4.5 million.
The third building Northpoint is proposing is a $20.5 million investment generating 150 jobs with a $6.77 million payroll.
“We are creating a real estate tax exemption in exchange for creation of a certain amount of investment and jobs for each of those three buildings,” said Haire. “Previously, we were looking at a 100 percent exemption for 15 years.”
Haire said both school districts—Canal Winchester and Groveport Madison—are in agreement that the current proposal would be an appropriate trade.
“I’m glad we saved this project and that it’s coming back,” said Councilman Bob Clark.
Community plan approved
By Linda Dillman
In a process started 18 months ago, Canal Winchester City Council has approved the city’s community plan.
McKenna project manager Adam Cook said the process usually takes two years.
“The amount of passion shown by this community, the amount of grit, and dedication speaks for a work product that will guide you for years to come; hopefully decades to come as it grows, as it evolves, as it develops,” said Cook.
Council President Chuck Milliken said he is happy and thankful to be able to vote on the community plan’s passage before leaving council at the end of the year.
“I encourage our new members of council to please support this moving forward,” said Milliken. “One of our concerns when we first started doing this was that it would be put on a shelf. Keep it moving forward.”
To view a copy of the entire plan and results of community surveys, visit www.cwgrowingtogether.com.
According to the plan, “The largest land use in Canal Winchester is undeveloped land that is either vacant or used for agriculture. These lands comprise 36 percent of the city’s total land area.”
Approximately two percent of all land in Canal Winchester is designated as institutional—libraries, hospitals, churches, human service entities, rehab centers, senior housing and other similar uses.
Municipal and public uses such as schools, city hall, and other city-owned buildings (excluding park land) make up six percent of the city’s land use. Thirteen percent of all general open space use encompasses parks, improved and unimproved parcels, pools, golf courses, etc.
According to the plan, “The industrial campus category is intended to support local and regional employment. Areas given this designation should be locations for a mix of research, manufacturing, logistics and similar uses in a parklike, campus environment. While these businesses generate valuable revenue for the city, it is important that industrial campus areas be aesthetically pleasing for those who work there and for community members as a whole. With proper site planning and landscape design, these areas can coexist harmoniously with their surroundings.”
In identifying public feedback on the strengths of the city, respondents cited regional location, workforce quality, local businesses and a healthy tax revenue. Citizens found a lack of strategic planning and a lack of diversity in industry to be weaknesses.
Developing a diverse business community and synergies with companies investing regionally were identified as opportunities. Adjacent land potentially annexed to other communities, the unattractiveness to young workers and development competition were identified as threats to Canal Winchester.
Economic development priorities listed through public feedback include workforce housing; retail and business; entertainment; and annexation and land acquisition. Nearly half of community survey results indicated economic health and stability is a top priority.
Other highlights of the community plan:
•The top three objectives as far as community character and urban design are: The support of a system of organized and balanced land uses within the community that respects existing neighborhoods and open spaces; encouraging residential development that meets market demand by people of all ages, incomes and household sizes; and promote the development of mixed use, walkable development patterns.
•Regarding public utilities and services, the top two objectives suggested in the community plan are to continue provide appropriate resources to maintain the high quality of public services in the city and to anticipate and incentivize future growth in focus areas through proactive capital improvements planning.
•The top three objectives as far as transportation are: Utilize the Thoroughfare Plan for roadway network improvements and update the plan regularly; Maintain a fiscally responsible approach to managing a high quality and safe transportation system; and ensure the design of new and existing facilities lends to a visually appealing environment.
•The top two objectives in directing parks, recreation and open spaces are: to provide a system of accessible and quality parks, recreation opportunities and open spaces that is welcoming, beautiful and meets the needs of everyone in the community and to preserve and enhance the community’s open spaces and waterways.