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City Offices to Move into Former Bob Evans HQ on South Side

Walker Evans Walker Evans City Offices to Move into Former Bob Evans HQ on South SidePhoto via Google Streetview.
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Since 2011, the former Bob Evans Headquarters building at 3700 South High Street has sat empty on the city’s south side when the company relocated to New Albany. Yesterday, Columbus City Council authorized legislation to move the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging (COAAA) into the building to enable its expansion.

“After four long years we are thrilled to have a new tenant for the former site of Bob Evans corporate headquarters,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “This location is a gateway to the City, and COAAA will be a great addition to the South Side.”

The COAAA is a city agency, operated under the Department of Recreation and Parks. The organization provides caregiving services and resources for senior citizens in the region. Their current offices are located at 174-182 East Long Street, Downtown. The relocation will allow the organization to expand from 39,000 square feet and 130 parking spaces to 55,000 square feet and 230 parking spaces.

“Our seniors deserve the very best and the Central Ohio Area Agency on Aging is there to provide critical social services to ensure the highest quality of life possible for local residents,” said Councilmember Jaiza Page, chair of the Recreation and Parks Committee. “COAAA’s move to the South Side will revitalize an abandoned site and help move the area forward.”

The City of Columbus is purchasing the old Bob Evans HQ for $4 million, which includes building renovation costs. The COAAA is expected to relocate by January 2016. No plans have been announced yet for the Downtown office buildings that COAAA will vacate on East Long, but speculation about their potential redevelopment has already begun on our Messageboard.

Meanwhile, the Bob Evans company has faced a string of bad news since their relocation to New Albany. Protestors staged multiple events around the company’s relocation timeframe. Long-time CEO Steve Davis resigned at the end of 2014 in what was described as a “shake-up” with company leadership. And Bob Evans announced last month that it would be eliminating 60 positions in a move to cut expenses.

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