2 Tones Brewing Plans first taproom

2 Tones pic

A Central Ohio craft brewery expects to have a taproom of its own later this year.

Whitehall’s 2 Tones Brewing Co. opened almost two years ago, and while the local brand can be found on taps around town, its production space at 145 N. Hamilton Rd. has been for beer making only.

Owners Tony Hill and Anthony McKeivier expect to change that in 2018.

The brewers will be leasing a 3,400-square-foot building at 4539 E. Broad St. that will allow them to expand production and open a taproom so the public can come in and enjoy a pint.

Read the full story at Columbus Business First here.

Whitehall State of the City – $60 million per square mile of investment

Whitehall drew nearly 50 new companies last year as its renewed economic development strategy began producing big results.

In her state of the city address on Wednesday night, Mayor Kim Maggard talked about the renewed economic development strategy the city has pushed since she took office in 2012 – when the suburb shifted to a proactive stance to encourage business investment.

Since then, incentives have drawn $60 million in business investment. Forty-eight new companies have moved to Whitehall since 2010, including large employers like Wasserstrom Co. and Heartland Bank. The city now hosts 650 businesses, and $50 million in new payroll has been created since 2012.

Maggard said city staff members have visited 110 businesses. Of them, 75 percent were maintaining or growing their employment. These have added $4.5 million in income tax revenue to the city.

Read the full story at Columbus Business First here.

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.


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.