Today, Franklin County and the city of Columbus released the results of the Weston Area Redevelopment Study, completed by internationally recognized real estate advisory firm Robert Charles Lesser Company (RCLCO).
Last year, the County and City, jointly funded a market analysis and economic development study of Westland and the West Broad Street corridor. Following five months of work by RCLCO the results of the study were released today and indicate that a “strong market opportunity for a robust development program” exists that will generate new investment opportunities which will create jobs and bring added services to the community.
“As the West Side moves into a new era, this study provides an important road-map for city, county and private sector cooperation with the community,” said Commissioner Paula Brooks. “Our focus is on creating jobs to assure our community’s strength and growth here on the West Side.”
“Working with West Side businesses and residents, we will seize this opportunity to revitalize the West Broad Street Corridor,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman. “This study is the first step in this revitalization process.”
The study found there is an unmet demand for 250,000 square feet of new retail space, 112,000 square feet of office/retail space, and 570,000 square feet of flex/industrial space, a hotel, and restaurants to serve the existing community as well as visitors to the new Hollywood Casino currently being constructed by Penn National Gaming.
The study also found a demand for 900 new single-family residential units and 1,300 new rental units over the next ten years. The projected new development and the addition of the casino to the west side have the potential to create 2,650 jobs.
“The Westland area has been hit hard in recent years,” said Commissioner Marilyn Brown. “Families and residents really need jobs. Our partnership with the City of Columbus will add thousands of new jobs to the 3,200 that already exist in an effort to bring back vitality and vibrancy to the County’s Westside.”
“Our top priority remains job creation and economic development,” said Commissioner John O’Grady. “I am confident that our investment last year to study the Westland area and W. Broad Street corridor will be beneficial to the residents and businesses which are already located there as well as serve as a catalyst for future development.”
The findings support the vision of the more than 1,000 stakeholders that participated in public meetings, interviews, and online surveys and residents and businesses won’t have to wait long to see positive changes to the area.
“Bobby Layman Chevrolet will be undergoing a complete renovation of its existing facilities. While final details are yet to be completed, the improvements will add to the “new” vibrancy of the West Broad Street corridor,” stated Linda Layman, Director, Bobby Layman, Inc. which is located at 3900 W. Broad Street.
To date, the County has committed $5 million to improve Georgesville Road by adding medians, trees, sidewalks and pedestrian lights; the State is expanding the I-270 exit onto Broad Street and plans additional infrastructure improvements to Broad Street, East to Wilson Rd.; Haydocy Buick GMC is currently undergoing extensive renovation; the County and the City have developed new design overlay standards for the redevelopment of West Broad Street and the $400 million Hollywood Casino has already dramatically changed the landscape.
The entire Weston Area Redevelopment Study is available for review and comment, on the Commissioners’ website at www.FranklinCountyOhio.gov/Commissioners.