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.