UA Residents to Decide: Community Center or Nine-Story Mixed-Use Building?
The Upper Arlington Board of Zoning and Planning will weigh in on the latest redevelopment plan for the former Macy’s store at the Kingsdale Shopping Center later this month.
A special election scheduled for May 4 will then give residents of the suburb a chance to choose among two options for a portion of the site – a seven-story building containing a community center, two floors of office and a 60-space parking garage; or a nine-story building containing 75 residential units, two floors of office and a 135-space parking garage.
The board approved a preliminary development plan for the site in October, and will vote on the final plan at its meeting on March 24.
The plan consists of three main elements:
- A seven-story, 142-unit senior housing apartment building with a ground floor restaurant facing Tremont Road.
- A seven-story, 325-unit apartment building with a two-story parking garage. Two-story townhouses would face Northwest Boulevard, screening the parking garage from view.
- The community center/mixed-use building site. If the May ballot issue passes, the city will use existing revenue streams and funding generated by the new development to build the community center building, which the city would own. If voters reject the community center idea, then the developer of the site, Continental Real Estate, will proceed with its alternate plan for that area (the nine-story mixed-use building).
The proposed community center would take up five floors of the seven-story building, with office space on the top two floors. The center would contain an indoor pool, various meeting and event spaces, three full gymnasiums, a running track, space for a senior program, and an outdoor terrace on the fifth floor.
Although Upper Arlington is known for its single family homes, the immediate area surrounding Kingsdale Shopping Center features several taller buildings, including the OSU Medical Center Outpatient Care building (75 feet tall), and the Arlington Crossing condominium building (67 feet tall, according to the city).
The Upper Arlington City Council approved a development agreement for the site in November, establishing a Tax Increment Financing district. It includes contingencies for the two possible scenarios, depending on the outcome of the vote in May.