Metro West apartments sold to firm with Romney ties

on Tuesday, 29 April 2014.

Romney's recognized tremendous opportunity in Weston District

A company with ties to Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s real estate development firm has purchased Metro West, one of the area's largest and most neglected apartment complexes.

Romney Group’s Havenwood Townhomes, based in Utah,  purchased the complex on the West Side near Hollywood Casino Columbus and plans to renovate 856 current units into more upscale two-, three- and four-bedroom apartments.

The complex had about 1,700 units in Franklin and Prairie townships, but several buildings in deteriorating condition are being demolished.

“Our plan is to convert this property into one of the premier residential communities in west Columbus,” said Anthon Stauffer, the Romney Group’s director of acquisitions.

Construction will start in late May and be completed in two years, he said.

“We would like to keep all the current residents who have been consistently paying their rent,” Stauffer said. “They will each have an opportunity to move into upgraded units as they become available.”

Community leaders hope the acquisition will add to the momentum of the West Side that began with the opening of the $400 million Hollywood in October 2012.

“The removal of that blight is a positive and powerful influence for the area,” said John Rosenberger, president of the Central Ohio Community Improvement Corp.By The Columbus Dispatch http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2014/04/28/metro-west-apartments-sold-to-romney-firm.html

Sullivant Ave. to get Makeover

on Thursday, 24 April 2014.

Construction to begin June 2014

The project will consist of the following work:

 

  • Sullivant Avenue from      Georgesville Road to Hague Avenue
    • Sharrows       (shared lane bike markings)
    • Bike       wayfinding and Share the Road signs
    • Side street       signal detection markings and signs for bikes 
  • Sullivant Avenue from      Hague Avenue to Glenwood Avenue
    • Resurfacing
    • ADA compliant       curb ramps where necessary
    • Road diet       (Hague Avenue to Yale Avenue)
          
      • 4 thru lanes        converted to 2 thru lanes, a two way left turn lane, and a parking lane
      •   
             
        • parking on         south side west of I-70
        •    
        • parking on         north side east of I-70
        •   
    • Sharrows
    • Bike       wayfinding, Share the Road, and traffic signs
    • Side street       signal detection markings and signs for bikes
    • Signal head       realignment to accommodate the road diet 
  • Sullivant Avenue from      Glenwood Avenue to Grubb Street
    • Sharrows
    • Bike       wayfinding and Share the Road signs
  • Grubb Street from      Sullivant Avenue to Rich Street
    • Sharrows
  • Whitethorne Avenue      from Eakin Road to W. Broad Street
    • Bike boulevard       markings and signs (similar to those already on Steele Avenue)
  • Midland Avenue from      Sullivant Avenue to W. Broad Street
    • Bike boulevard       markings and signs

Methodist Bishop does about-face on West Side casino

on Friday, 18 April 2014.

Appropriate to embrace the tangible role the Hollywood Casino is playing

A United Methodist bishop who opposed Hollywood Casino Columbus is now embracing it as a community partner that contributes jobs, volunteers and funding for much-needed programs on the Hilltop.

Retired Bishop C. Joseph Sprague shared a position paper on the topic with attendees at a recent fundraiser for the nonprofit Greater Hilltop Shalom Zone. The fundraiser was at the casino’s event center.

Sprague, who helped found the Shalom Zone in 2011, said the casino is making lives better and “ enhancing creative change in a tattered community.”

“When the city of Columbus and other influential corporations have failed or been very slow to invest significantly in the West Side for far too long, it is appropriate to embrace the tangible role the Hollywood Casino is playing and inappropriate for religious persons and organizations to throw intangible stones at those making a positive difference,” Sprague wrote.

West Side Community Fund Invests $1 Million in Job Training and Health Services

on Saturday, 29 March 2014.

Joint Investment by Columbus and Hollywood Casino Marks Largest to Date

Columbus City Council will vote tonight to authorized two expenditures adding up to more than $1 million from the West Side Community Fund to support expanded West Side services from COWIC and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Coupled with a matching $506,100 from Hollywood Casino, the $506,100 grant promotes workforce investment and health services on Columbus’s West Side. This will be the largest neighborhood investment from the West Side Community Fund, which was created as part of the 2010 settlement agreement between the City of Columbus and Penn National Gaming that preceded the construction of the Hollywood Casino. Both Columbus and Penn National agreed to contribute $2.5 million to the West Side Community Fund for a total of $5 million by 2015.

“These investments support workforce investment and health services on the West Side of Columbus,” Mayor Coleman said. “We’re proud to partner with Hollywood Casino to invest in the great neighborhood that surrounds it.”

Some of these funds will support of the Westside Job Training and Employment Initiative with COWIC.  As the lead workforce development agency in Columbus and Central Ohio, COWIC will assist with securing employment for residents in Westland, Greater Hilltop, and Franklinton. COWIC will provide job preparation training, occupational skills training referrals, job referrals and job placement services to 150 jobseekers that would result in fulltime employment.

“Today’s economy demands the most skilled labor force possible to help Columbus compete on a global stage,” said Councilmember Priscilla R. Tyson, chair of the Health and Human Services Committee. “These workers must have the training and healthcare to provide the edge our companies need to be successful.”

History of Metro West apartments mirrors West Side decline

on Monday, 17 March 2014.

Foundation for future development

In a couple of months, giant claws will have eaten their way through 465 apartments being razed at Metro West.

But some day, those and other units on up to 30 acres might be replaced by “affordable” senior housing, Nick Tambakis, chief operating officer of Wingate LLC of New York, said last week. Wingate owns the 100-acre, 1,732-unit apartment complex on the West Side south of Westland Mall.

“We have a buyer,” Tambakis said. “It’s under contract and moving along.”

Prairie Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker, whose township  ordered the demolition, is skeptical of Tambakis’ announcement.

“I’m a cynic about this,” Hatmaker said. “They’ve said they had buyers before, and then the buyers were elusive.”

Hollywood Casino Honored with Experience Columbus EXPY Award

on Monday, 10 March 2014.

One of only 4 to be recognized with prestigious award for its contributions to Central Ohio

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 10, 2014

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 10, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Experience Columbus, Central Ohio's convention and visitor's bureau, presented Hollywood Casino Columbus with an EXPY Award at its annual meeting on March 4th at the Greater Columbus Convention Center. Hollywood Casino Columbus was one of just four honored with EXPY Awards at this year's meeting.

The annual EXPY award recognizes outstanding contributions by businesses, organizations or individuals whose creativity and innovation have created a vibrant and distinctive Columbus experience for visitors and residents, and have propelled Columbus into the national spotlight.

Hollywood Casino was recognized for having made major investments in the city by revitalizing an area on the West Side of Columbus. The casino has drawn more than 4 million guests, many from outside of the city. In addition, it has made major investments in Columbus by: providing more than 16,000 square feet of meeting and convention space; boosting employment on the West Side; motivating more than 30 businesses to relocate to the area or to re-invest in their West Side companies; and forming partnerships with numerous organizations throughout Columbus.


Read more:  http://www.digitaljournal.com/pr/1782203#ixzz2vaxrWCZ7

Judge allows razing of vacant apartments at Metro West

on Friday, 28 February 2014.

A federal judge has refused to stop Prairie Township’s plan to demolish the vacant units of Metro West, once the largest apartment complex in central Ohio.

U.S. District Court Judge Edmund A. Sargus refused to grant a temporary restraining order yesterday that was sought by the complex’s owner, Matrix Realty Group.

Prairie Township will start cleaning junk out of the 408 apartments in 17 buildings, then remove asbestos before demolishing the units, township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker said. The buildings are the closest ones to Georgesville Road. A 2004 fire there killed two people.

Robert Behal, an attorney for Matrix’s owners, said he would consult with his clients to see what to do next, including a possible appeal to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals

Hollywood & Broad food truck park planned next to casino

on Monday, 03 February 2014.

Inspired by parks in San Francisco and San Antonio

While the Hollywood Casino Columbus is expected to spur redevelopment of the city’s west side, including new places to eat, the president of Haydocy Automotive Group hopes he can speed up the restaurant revitalization with the creation of the Hollywood & Broad Gourmet Food Park.

“We took the bull by the horns,” Haydocy told me. “I just got tired of waiting. We decided we’ll see what we can do.”

The park – on open land between his Haydocy Buick GMC dealership on West Broad Street and the Hollywood Drive North entrance to the casino – will be home to up to three food trailers and indoor and outdoor dining. It is set to launch in the spring with Land Yacht BBQ, an Airstream trailer converted into a mobile barbecue shack complete with its own smokers.

Haydocy added an Airstream dealership last year. He said he’d seen trailers converted into food trucks elsewhere and it occurred to him that it could be done here.

“We happened upon a 1963 Airstream,” he said. “We jumped in and started renovating it.”

The spot is inspired by parks in San Francisco and San Antonio, among other locales. Its master plan calls for three trailers and an enclosed building so people can eat sheltered from the poor weather. That building is scheduled to be built next year. Picnic tables will be available for outdoor eating in the meantime. The other two trailers, planned to be a deli and Mexican food, are to be phased in over the next two years.

408 apartments at former Lincoln Park West complex set for demolition

on Monday, 03 February 2014.

COCIC and the Ohio Attorney General’s office to fund the $2 million demolition

Prairie Township and a Franklin County nonprofit redevelopment entity have joined forces to knock down 408 apartment units within the former Lincoln Park West complex near the Hollywood Casino and shuttered Westland Mall.

Prairie Township Administrator Tracy Hatmaker told me 17 apartment buildings with 24 units each will get demolished in the garden-style, 2½-story “California” section of the complex, now called Metro West.

The complex off Georgesville Road south of West Broad Street, known 30 years ago as Shannon Way, sold in 2003 for $13.65 million to New York-based Matrix Realty Group Inc.

Long-Time West Side Restaurant Closes

on Monday, 03 February 2014.

They say their lease expired and the restaurant will be replaced by a convenience store

COLUMBUS, Ohio - If you grew up on the west side of Columbus, odds are that you ate a George's coney at some point in your life.
 
But the restaurant's six-decade run in west Columbus is coming to an end.
 
Meals inside George's All-American Grille came with a side of tears and an extra helping of hugs Wednesday--evidence that George's is more than just a restaurant.
 
"We have a special bond,” owner Dawn Mavromatis said of the relationship between the staff and customers. “They don't just come in for a nice hot meal and get good service. They come in for the fellowship as well."

CEO Ameet Patel: Casino bids to grow along with environs

on Monday, 03 February 2014.

Hollywood Casino general manager Ameet Patel wants to see Columbus’ West Side thrive. A little more than a year after the casino’s grand opening, Patel and Penn National Gaming are poised for continued investment in a neighborhood that has been declining since the early 2000s. http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/business/2014/01/05/casino-bids-to-grow-along-with-environs.html

 

Westside Columbus showing signs of life

on Friday, 17 January 2014.

It a Big Thing!

BMV signs letter of Intent for Weston District

on Tuesday, 10 December 2013.

Conversion will boost local economic development efforts

The BMV has signed a letter of intent to rent space for a new, privately-operated Deputy Registrar (DR), which will be located in the West Broad Plaza, 4135-4143 W. Broad St., at the southwest corner of W. Broad Street and Georgesville Road. The new DR will be in the heart of Columbus’ west side retail district and is scheduled to be opened for business by July 1, 2014. The West Broad St. location is the last state-run BMV customer service center.

“This conversion will boost local economic development efforts and reduce costs for the BMV and taxpayers by an estimated $1 million a year,” said Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles Registrar Mike Rankin. “The new location will create jobs and invest in the west side neighborhood’s ongoing economic development success.”

Unlike the current site, the new location will be open on Saturdays and parking will be more convenient for customers.

All of the employees currently working at the West Broad St. customer service center will be assimilated into positions within the Ohio Department of Public Safety.

Metro Parks’ proposed budget would boost capital projects

on Tuesday, 26 November 2013.

$1.25 million for the Camp Chase railroad trail

Metro Parks plans to spend more than $5.3 million on capital improvements next year, including $2.5 million for the long-awaited development of Rocky Fork Metro Park in northeastern Franklin County.

The improvements, which also include $1.25 million for the Camp Chase railroad trail and $100,000 for bocce-ball courts and other work at Scioto Audubon Metro Park, are part of the parks district’s proposed $27.9 million 2014 budget that parks officials are to discuss today.

Metro Parks reduced development and property purchases this year because of worries about state budget cuts and declining revenue from local property taxes.

But revenue losses in 2013 were not as large as expected, although property-tax collections did drop by $300,000. By Mark Ferenchick  The Columbus Dispatch  Tuesday November 26, 2013

http://www.dispatch.com/content/stories/local/2013/11/26/metro-parks-proposed-budget-would-boost-capital-projects.html

City Council Approves Deal With Franklin Township

on Tuesday, 05 November 2013.

Franklin Township could receive 39 million dollars over 50 years from shared revenues from the Columbus casino.

It's part of a deal between the township and Columbus that Columbus City Council approved last night. Franklin Township trustees approved the deal in September.The money is meant to compensate Franklin Township for the revenue it lost after the the casino site was annexed into Columbus. The agreement calls for the township and city to partner in a joint economic development district or JEDD around the areas of Georgesville Road and West Broad Street. Seventy percent of revenues from the JEDD would go to Franklin Township for economic development. The remaining 30 percent would be split between the city and township's general funds. The agreement calls for the township to provide fire and police services, road maintenance, record-keeping, staffing and meeting space for the JEDD. The city agrees not to annex land within the area for five years. The township would receive 911 thousand dollars a year. Council also approved a 636 thousand dollar contract with a private firm to conduct design work to improve the Glenwood Recreation Center near West Broad Street. Columbus Recreation and Parks Director Alan McKnight says the firm will recommend whether to renovate or replace the existing building.

http://wcbe.org/post/city-council-approves-deal-franklin-township-rec-center-design-work

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