CW looks to increase industrial development

By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

If everything falls in place, the city of Canal Winchester will sell 110 acres of industrial development land to the country’s largest landlord immediately after the city closes on the Bixby Road property.

Canal Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire said NorthPoint Development, a Kansas City company that developed logistics space in Groveport and is currently finishing up an Ashville project, wants to purchase the site.

An ordinance first conveying the tract to the Canal Winchester Industry and Commerce Corporation and then to NorthPoint was up for emergency approval by Canal Winchester City Council on Feb. 4.

“This is their first venture in Canal Winchester,” said Haire following a council work session. “We’ve been out marketing that (Bixby property) to developers. NorthPoint is interested in partnering with another contractor for the entire property. They build mostly warehouses and distribution centers.”

According to Haire, the city is purchasing the property at $8,500 per acre. The agreement with NorthPoint—if the company’s due diligence process approves the contract—calls for a sale price of $15,000 per acre.

Once all real estate related costs are paid, Haire said the agreement could net the city approximately $600,000. The site, located on the south side of Bixby Road and not far from the Gender Road corridor on the northeast corner of Rager Road and U.S. 33, is currently owned by Willis M. Alspach, Joan A. Alspach and David Benjamin Alspach.

Councilman Bob Clark suggested earmarking proceeds from the sale and future agreements for economic development.

The purchase comes two decades after Canal Winchester first dipped its municipal foot into the industrial development pool with Canal Pointe.

During a November council meeting, Council President Bruce Jarvis said, “It’s been 20 years since that development began, which was a calculated experiment at the time to control the type and quality of development and make some money. We actually profited from Canal Pointe and it was very successful. We need a follow-on industrial park and hope this site works out. If they ever build an interchange at Bixby Road, this site would be in the right place at the right time.”

Two-thirds of the Bixby Road site is located within the city’s corporation limits. The remainder still needs to be annexed. Once the annexation request is initiated, it takes approximately three to four months to complete the process.

Middletown Farms development
Council was prepared to take action on a zoning amendment on the proposed Middletown Farms development—located at the intersection of Hayes and Lithopolis roads on land owned by The Dwight A. Imler Revocable Living Trust—after untabling the ordinance at the applicant’s request.

However, after a lengthy discussion during the regular council session, the applicant again requested that the ordinance be tabled after council members still balked at a garage setback and a looming inventory of new home builds.

“We’re the fastest growing city in the state of Ohio,” Clark said. “But you have to manage growth with capacity. A city is built to survive on income tax, not property tax.”

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