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.