City of Whitehall selects Continental Real Estate Companies to develop key site

Whitehall, Ohio] November 29, 2016 – The City of Whitehall has named Columbus-based Continental Real Estate Companies to lead redevelopment efforts of a critical City entry point at the intersection of East Broad Street and Hamilton Road.  Planning for the mixed-use development is underway and will continue into the first quarter of 2017 with construction expected to start in the second quarter of 2017.site-overview-whitehall

The City acquired the majority of the 20 acres at the southwest corner of the intersection earlier this year with the intention of redeveloping the site into a walkable, mixed use development featuring residential, commercial and office space.  The project represents a combined public-private investment of $50 million. Public investment was made through Tax Increment Financing (TIF) dollars, which are captured by diverting a portion of property taxes. That funding can only be used for municipal infrastructure and public improvement projects, like the purchase of real estate.

Concurrently, the City has nearly completed improvements on North Hamilton Road, between Whitehall’s northern boundary (the railroad tracks) and the Airport South Commerce and Tech Park, the City’s business park at Poth Road.  The $2.7 million project includes the refacing of the railroad bridge, a new gateway feature to the City, a new entry way to Whitehall Community Park, a multi-use path from Poth Road to the park, new lighting and a new traffic signal.  The City is also exploring funding sources for a complete overhaul of the East Broad Street/Hamilton Road intersection.  Investment in this project is estimated at $7.2 million and is directly adjacent to the 20-acre redevelopment site.

Read more from The Columbus Dispatch and Columbus Business First.

“As a community, we are laser-focused on economic development and attracting as residents young professionals and empty nesters who are working in the City,” said Mayor Kim Maggard.  “Continental Real Estate Development has decades of experience creating high quality projects that withstand the test of time in central Ohio and beyond.  We are looking forward to reimagining this important area with them to attract even more jobs, amenities and residents.”

site-plan-whitehallA committee consisting of the administration, council and the Whitehall Community Improvement Corporation (WCIC) reviewed proposals and interviewed developers before recommending Continental.

In selecting Continental, the City hopes to leverage the expertise of a developer known for high quality results, including Pittsburgh’s award-winning North Shore, central Ohio’s Hilliard Gateway, and a multitude of retail, medical, multi-family and hospitality developments in Grandview, Upper Arlington, Westerville, Easton and downtown Columbus.

Continental Real Estate Companies Chairman Frank Kass stated, “Whitehall is a burgeoning community that significantly benefits from its location within I-270 and its proximity to both the John Glenn Airport

and downtown Columbus.  With forward thinking city leadership, Whitehall is poised to become the next great redevelopment story and we’re pleased to partner with them to serve the needs of a growing office and residential population.”

The Committee will present information on the development plans for this site, formerly known as the Commons at Royal Landing, to the Whitehall City Council at a Town Hall Meeting on Tuesday, November 29, 2016 from 7-8pm at Whitehall City Hall, 360 S. Yearling Road, Whitehall.

The revitalization of this high profile area is the next step in the ongoing reemergence of one of central Ohio’s most significant suburbs.  With a current population of nearly 19,000, Whitehall leadership is leveraging the City’s momentum to stimulate additional business growth and expansion.

Since 2012, the City has attracted 1,400 new jobs, including:

  • Heartland Bank’s 60,000 s.f. corporate headquarters and bank branch, housing approximately 100 employees with an expected opening in the 4th quarter of 2017.
  • Wasserstrom’s announced new headquarters with approximately 250 employees with an expected opening in summer 2017.
  • Rite Rug’s opening of its headquarters in 2015 housing 250 employees.
  • Priority Designs 2015 opening of its state-of-the-heart headquarters, which houses about 60 employees and was an adaptive reuse of a former Chevrolet dealership
  • A 140,000 s.f. speculative office and industrial building developed by the Mark F. Taggart Company and Fed One Dublin that opened in summer 2016 and is majority occupied.

Existing Whitehall businesses have also reinvested in their sites, including:

  • Byers Imports project is midway through a $3.5 million construction of a new 15,000 s.f. stand-alone Audi dealership on Hamilton Road.
  • Sandoval Buick has invested more than $1 million in its dealership at the corner of Poth and Hamilton Roads.

And several significant senior residential projects have been added, including:

  • The Ashford senior living center developed by Wallick Communities on the site of the former Ramada Inn at Broad Street and Hamilton Road.
  • Hamilton Crossing Senior Apartment Complex is currently under construction at the corner of Hamilton and Etna roads.

 

Columbus CEO: Commercial Real Estate Spotlight – Whitehall

From Columbus CEO’s November 2016 edition:

Columbus banker Scott McComb did not lack options when he decided in late 2015 that his Heartland Bank could not successfully renovate the original, historic passenger terminal at Port Columbus International Airport—now John Glenn Columbus International Airport—into offices for its new headquarters.

“When (the airport site) didn’t work, all of the (central Ohio) communities knew we had to do something and wanted to talk to us about development ground or (vacant) buildings they had available,” the Heartland CEO recalls. “We were going down the road a little bit with one municipality when we started talking to Whitehall about an affordable housing initiative. But Whitehall was not really in the mix for the headquarters.”

Whitehall, though, had already made significant progress promoting the redevelopment of stagnant commercial and industrial properties and vacant development ground. Those efforts included Columbus-based Wallick Communities’ recently completed $18 million transformation of the shuttered Ramada Inn at E. Broad Street and S. Hamilton Road into 131 affordable assisted living units for seniors. It also lured carpet retailer Rite Rug, which moved its distribution headquarters from Wilson Road and Interstate 70 two years ago into 150,000 square feet of warehouse and office space at 4450 Poth Rd., a facility that Cincinnati-based grocer Kroger Co. had vacated a decade before. Click here to read the full story.

Whitehall welcomes fast-growing international hydration solutions manufacturer Takeya USA

Takeya USA, a lifestyle products company that designs innovative and sustainable beverage and food storage products, has announced its move to Whitehall’s Airport South Commerce & Tech Park.

The company, which will operate in a newly-built multi-tenant industrial space at the corner of Poth and North Hamilton roads, was established in 2008 in Huntington Beach, Calif. Takeya USA has roots in Japanese manufacturing tradition, thanks to a partnership between Co-Founders John Lown and Hiroshi Taketani of Takeya Japan.Takeya

The company is relocating its distribution center to central Ohio from the Cleveland area.

“Moving our warehouse to Whitehall is a direct result of our rapid growth domestically,” said Lown. “The expansive warehouse allows us to continue to provide our customers with a high level of service and efficiency as we steadily grow and expand our product lines and brand. Furthermore, this move puts us closer to our U.S. manufacturing center in the area, reinforcing our sustainable and environmentally-friendly mission, as less transport means less carbon pollution.”

Takeya USA is known for its popular brand of insulated steel water bottles, ThermoFlask, as well as its glass water bottle line and coffee and tea solutions. Takeya USA products can be purchased directly from the company online at www.takeyausa.com, at local stores like Costco and Best Buy, and online retailers like Target.com and Amazon.

“In our brand new space, which has the capability for us to further expand our inventory, we will have state of the art equipment and technology to streamline our ordering process,” Lown said. “We are proud to positively impact the Ohio economy with our growth and job creation.”

Takeya USA officials plan to be fully operational in their Whitehall facility by the end of the month.

ThermoFlaskWhitehall Director of Economic Development Zach Woodruff said it’s exciting to have such an innovative company join the Whitehall community.

“Takeya USA, like a number of other businesses that have recently chosen to locate in Whitehall, is forward-thinking and globally-minded,” he said. “It’s exactly the type of company Whitehall is trying to attract.”

Takeya USA, represented by Rick Trott of CBRE Columbus (www.cbre.us/o/columbus), is the second company to locate within the 140,000-square-foot building, built by Fed One www.fedonedublin.com. Continental Auto Parts opened earlier this year, leaving 40,000 square feet available. The building is listed and managed by the Mark F. Taggart Co, AMO. More information can be found at www.mftco.com.

For more information about Takeya USA, please contact Bolt Public Relations at 949-218-5454 or via email at takeya@boltpr.com. For more information about the City of Whitehall, please contact Gail Martineau at 614-264-4675 or via email at gail.martineau@whitehall-oh.us

Click here to read Columbus Business First’s coverage of the move.

Heartland Bank debuts renderings for new Whitehall corporate headquarters

Heartland Bank is fleshing out details of its new headquarters campus in Whitehall.

The 13-branch community bank has named Ruscilli Construction Co. Inc. as general contractor for the roughly $10 million project (including furniture and equipment), a planned move from its longtime headquarters in Gahanna that was first made public in March.

Read more here from Columbus Business First.

Revived Chamber of Commerce Ready for Action

With the support of 11 newly seated board members, the Whitehall Area Chamber of Commerce is ready to re-establish itself in the community.

Members will meet at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 18, at Sandoval Buick GMC, 300 N. Hamilton Road, for a two-hour social gathering meant to reintroduce the chamber to the community, increase exposure and build membership, said Joe Ryan, economic development specialist for Whitehall.

The roll-out was more than a year in the making. It began when Ryan was appointed in July 2015 as the city’s first economic development specialist to assist Development Director Zach Woodruff.

“Part of the reason (I was hired) was to promote existing businesses in our city and for business retention, and I took the lead recruiting business owners (for a board of directors),” Ryan said.

Read more

Byers Imports doing upgrade of Whitehall Dealership

Byers Imports is doing a double upgrade of its Whitehall auto dealership.

George Byers Kauffman, Byers Auto Group vice president, said the company is making multi-million dollar improvements at 401 N. Hamilton Road both for its Subaru and Audi stores.

“This is something that’s needed,” he told me Thursday. “Subaru is a good seller, but they’ve been pushed here to the back of the building. It’s overdue that it gets its own dedicated facility.”

What was the 5,000-square-foot Audi building on the 19-acre site is being expanded and converted into a Subaru dealership expected to re-open in early June.

Kauffman believes it will be the largest in the state of Ohio.

“It’s going to have all the things our customers have been asking for,” he said.

Features include a dedicated service drive and amenities like wi-fi and charging stations and quiet rooms for customers who need to work while waiting for their vehicle. The building is being designed with Subaru’s new look, which Kauffman described as “outdoorsy,” fitting the brand’s reputation.

Read more

Mark F. Taggart Co. lands key tenant for Whitehall industrial building

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Gail Martineau, City of Whitehall

Mark F. Taggart Co. has landed a pair of key tenants for industrial buildings in Whitehall and Gahanna, one of the leases filling a spec property in Gahanna.

The Columbus real estate firm signed the first tenant for its Air South Commerce Center under construction in Whitehall, with Continental Auto Parts LLC taking 50,000 square feet of the 140,000-square-foot building.

“They are going to be distributing high-quality aftermarket auto parts,” President Mark Taggart said. “They’re new to Columbus.”

Click here to read more from Columbus Business First.

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Heartland Bank chooses Whitehall for new HQ

Heartland Bank chooses Whitehall: The City of Whitehall announced at its State of the City Address Wednesday evening that Heartland Bank has chosen Whitehall for its new, expanded corporate headquarters.

Heartland’s plans include a two-story, 60,000-square-foot building located along North Hamilton Road at the gateway of Whitehall’s Community Park. The company has chosen the national architectural firm Moody Nolan for the project.

The corporate center, which will also feature Heartland’s 15th central Ohio branch office, will be positioned on a six-acre site that has served as the Whitehall Parks Maintenance Complex.

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Kroger Eyes Whitehall Site

Kroger Eyes Whitehall Site: Kroger Co. wants to move its Whitehall supermarket across Broad Street to the site of a former Big Bear, with financial assistance from the city.

The Cincinnati-based grocer would close its 65,000-square-foot store at 3675 E. Broad St. and open a 105,000-square-foot location on the west end of the Town and Country Shopping Center.

The former Big Bear and other nearby vacant storefronts – 150,000 square feet in all – would be demolished, said Zach Woodruff, director for the Whitehall Public Service/Building Department.

Kroger Eyes Whitehall Site

“It certainly has historical significance to Whitehall,” Woodruff said of the strip center at 3662-3712 E. Broad St. “(And) as the front door to our Broad Street gateway, that location has significance to us from a development standpoint.”

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Construction begins on New Industrial Building

 

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Construction begins on a new 140,000-square-foot industrial building on the corner of Hamilton Road and Poth Road. The first tenant on the Taggart Co. led project has been identified as an auto parts distributor that will bring 40 jobs to the City of Whitehall. The project is part of a three phase plan for the property which includes two additional industrial structures.