Whitehall Business Develops Concussion Prevention Technology

What started 10 years ago with an offhand comment about the head-banging woodpecker has become a simple-looking device that just might prevent the types of brain injuries that have parents wondering if they should pull their children from the athletic field.

Meet the Q Collar. The semicircular piece wraps around the sides and back of the neck, placing pressure on the jugular vein to send blood into the skull and, developers say, prevent the sloshing of the brain caused by hits to the head.

The collar, which is being sold in Canada as the Bauer NeuroShield, has its design roots in Whitehall. Take a peek inside a Priority Designs engineering lab, and you’ll see several iterations of the device — the work of a team headed by Jamison Float, senior biomedical engineer at the South Hamilton Road firm.

“It’s probably one of the most, if not the most, significant thing I will have ever worked on,” Float said. “I would like to see it on every kid that’s playing a sport that could potentially cause brain injury.”

Hopes are that the collar will reduce incidents of traumatic brain injury in athletes and members of the military, said Tom Hoey, co-founder of Connecticut-based Q30 Innovations, the company that is bringing the Q Collar to the market. Approval by the federal Food and Drug Administration is needed before the collar can be sold in the United States.


For the full story in the Dispatch click here.


YMCA partners with Whitehall for New Facility

An old activity building at Whitehall Community Park is in for a major overhaul that will turn it into a community gathering place with craft space, a kitchen and an “airnasium.”

The city announced a partnership with the YMCA of Central Ohio Tuesday to renovate and expand the building and make it a hub for recreation, learning and the arts. It’s a $5.5 million project.

As we reported last month, the city has a new master plan for the park that includes expanding it from 60 acres to 85 acres.

Read the full story at Business First here.

‘Microhospital’ Proposed for Whitehall

A second microhospital is proposed for Franklin County, a 15-bed facility in Whitehall on the site of a closed Applebee’s, according to an item to be introduced Tuesday at City Council.

The location, 4600 E. Broad St., compounds the mystery of what health system would operate the 18,600-square-foot facility. Developer Embree Asset Group Inc. typically works with local or regional health systems to operate its microhospitals.

All four Columbus-based systems said they had no agreement with Embree. Embree, based just outside Austin, Texas, also is seeking to build a 15-bed hospital in Dublin. In each building, eight of the rooms are designated for inpatient stays; the rest are for treatment and exams. The trend toward microhospitals is another way to get care for less-serious cases in more convenient settings, most often in more affluent suburbs.

For the full story on Columbus Business First click here.

Whitehall Golf Dome Sold to Make Room for New Development

The city of Whitehall received less than a windfall in ridding itself of a massive inflatable dome last week, but it gained something it considers more valuable than money: marketable real estate in a prime location.

Although an online auction to sell the former Four Seasons Golf Center’s 86,000-square-foot, 85-foot-tall inflatable dome on East Broad Street netted just $1,750, Whitehall officials aren’t worried.

“Sure, we had hoped for a little more money, but we are happy it is going away — at the buyer’s expense, I might add — and we wish (the buyer) well,” Whitehall Development Director Zach Woodruff said after a two-week online auction administered by Auction Ohio closed July 18.

The golf dome — which the auction site said could cost up to $750,000 new — had served as central Ohio’s only indoor driving range until Four Seasons, 5000 E. Broad St., shut down Feb. 28.

“Now, we can move on to the important goal of developing this land,” Woodruff said.

For the full story in ThisWeek news click here.

Nonprofit: Older folks make good workers

Anyone could use a little assistance when looking for work, but older job-seekers might find particular challenges in their search. That’s why a new Whitehall-based nonprofit organization provides help for those 50 years and older who are searching for a new career. Employment for Seniors Inc. opened in late April at its new location in the lobby of First Commonwealth Bank, 4300 E. Broad St. The independent nonprofit provides assistance to people 50 and older who live in Franklin County or contiguous counties in finding jobs. But the organization also works to show business leaders how older workers could benefit their companies. “We also strive to make employers aware of the value of hiring senior citizens,” said Carol Ventresca, executive director of Employment for Seniors. That value can come in the form of experience and work ethic, she said. Clients range from those seeking full-time jobs needed for living expenses to those seeking part-time jobs to stay active or supplement an existing income, Ventresca said. “We help seniors to be good job-seekers,” she said. Staff members help seniors with networking, preparing resumes and oftentimes with finding jobs in the digital, online world unfamiliar to some seniors, Ventresca said. Last year, Employment for Seniors added about 880 new clients; it currently has about 5,000, Ventresca said.


Read the full article here.

Expansive makeover plan for Broad and Hamilton grows

Expansive makeover plan for Broad and Hamilton grows

Whitehall and Continental Real Estate Cos. are fleshing out details of a transformation planned at the site of a crime-ridden apartment complex on East Broad Street and growing the scope of the $50 million project even before work begins.

Four months after the city said it would partner with the Columbus developer to knock down the 42-building Commons at Royal Landing slum, the partners are working to assemble adjacent properties fronting Hamilton Road to the east.

The Norton Crossing site is expected to total 23 to 25 acres, up from about 20 acres initially.

Norton Crossing Site Plan

“We encouraged the city to partner with us in buying the adjacent properties so that the entire 25 acres at the southwest corner of Broad and Hamilton will be a complete, clean, clear palette,” Continental Chairman Frank Kass told Columbus Business First. “Everything we put there will be uncompromised. We said, ‘Hey, we’ll do (the project), but we can’t really do it and have some of these adjacencies to have the kind of quality we want.’

“Driving south on Hamilton and west on Broad, the only thing you’re going to see is a great looking project,” he said.

The additional sites – a retail plaza at 61-91 S. Hamilton Road, a trio of apartment buildings at 35 S. Hamilton and a check cashing store at 4775 E. Broad St. – are expected to make the complex more accessible. Also, it will permit more commercial buildings to be included.

Whitehall is negotiating to acquire the shopping center, and Continental is working to put the apartment buildings under contract. The National Check Cashers, at Broad and Hamilton, would have to be acquired through the federal right-of-way acquisition process, which city officials said is not likely to happen before 2019.

“The city intends to make right-of-way and road improvements,” Mayor Kim Maggard told Business First ahead of a State of the City meeting to discuss the proposal and other community developments. “It will allow for redevelopment of … (the) entire corner of Broad and Hamilton. We’re very excited about that.”

Adds Kass: “The intersection of Hamilton Road and Broad Street is one of the more important, high-traffic intersections in Central Ohio.”

This article originally appeared in Columbus Business First.

You can read the full story here.

New building soon to rise near airport

Whitehall leaders expect a new 260,000-square-foot industrial building to be completed by the end of the year at the Airport South Commerce & Tech Park, north of East Broad Street between North Yearling and Poth roads.

The new industrial building is a second phase of collaboration with developers Mark F. Taggart and Fed One Dublin, said city Development Director Zach Woodruff.

The companies recently completed a 140,000-square-foot industrial building at the commerce park that is occupied today by Continental Auto Parts and Takeya USA, a lifestyle-products company best known for sustainable beverage and food-storage products.

The building is on the site of the former Oasis Corp., a water-cooler and fountain manufacturer.

The new 260,000-square-foot industrial building will rise north of the existing building.

Whitehall will offer a 15-year, 100 percent property-tax abatement to the developer to construct the new building.

“They will make an investment of $8 million to $12 million,” Woodruff said.

As part of the agreement, the developer will be required to create at least 75 jobs with an annual payroll of $2 million within three years, Woodruff said.

Read more on ThisWeek Community News here.