Special to 1808Delaware; By 1808Delaware

The Westerville Industry and Commerce Corporation (WICC) will purchase two tracts of land east of Africa Road for economic development purposes. Westerville City Council authorized $8.4 million for WICC’s purchase, with the intent to develop the land for commercial use and job growth.

In 2019, Westerville celebrated the economic development success of the original investment in the City’s northern edge. The annexation of 941 acres in 1999 comprising the area known as Westar, followed by the City’s 2014 acquisition of 62 acres in the heart of Westar, known as Westar Place. This area has generated nearly 10,000 jobs and is home to multiple companies including the North American headquarters of DHL Supply Chain, the corporate headquarters of Vertiv, Lancaster Colony and Central Ohio Primary Care Physicians, and the future home to other corporate entities like Western Alliance Bank.

“Growth is happening all around us, and Westerville is being intentional about creating opportunities for jobs and economic viability,” said Jason Bechtold, Assistant City Manager, City of Westerville. “We’ve shown this model works. Westerville has been successful in pairing thoughtful development with undeveloped land and public infrastructure while bolstering the workforce and creating amenities for residents and employees of Westerville businesses.”

On Tuesday, Feb. 7, Westerville City Council will hear the first reading of the ordinances that will enable WICC’s acquisition of the properties. As part of the proposal, City Council will authorize the funds for purchase and transfer to WICC, who has the express statutory authority to purchase land for economic development purposes. The City will recover the investment through land sales preceding development. The site is zoned Planned District for commercial development.

Bechtold says the land is a natural extension of Westar that will help Westerville achieve its economic development objectives, particularly as it relates to business demands for our existing industries and those related to the record Intel investment less than 10 miles away from this center of commerce.

“Westerville has a track record of adapting land for commercial use,” he said. “The 62-acre development at Westar Place illustrates that success. This is the next chapter in the City’s efforts to make strategic and intentional decisions about land use as Columbus Region grows in exponential ways.”

The purchase is expected to close in April, at which time development planning and marketing of the properties will begin. The City will initiate roadway and other infrastructure planning, including utility, stormwater and greenway design throughout the remainder of the year.

Source: City of Westerville

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