DHL Supply Chain Headquarters Moving To Westar
The largest parcel of land at Westar just east of Cleveland Ave. was approved for sale to DHL Supply Chain which plans to build a $20 million, four-story-tall, 145,000 square-foot office building to house its North and South America headquarters.
City Council approved the sale and a 12-year, 100% property tax abatement at Tuesday’s meeting. The vote on the sale and abatement were 6-1 with Tim Davey voting “no” on both.
The 10.1-acre site is south of the new Renaissance Hotel that opened Tuesday and is now being used for temporary storage of fill dirt from other Westar projects and a portion used to grow crops such as soybeans and corn.
DHL will move its current offices from 570 Polaris Parkway, less than a mile away, to the new building.
The Westerville staff report on the sale and projections for the site reads:
Once the building is complete, the intent would be for DHL to transfer the building to a real estate investor and sign a twelve (12) year lease. The purchase agreement has the purchase price as $175,000 per acre, which is the listed price. The company currently has 630 jobs in Westerville with a payroll of $87 million.
This is a fast-moving opportunity, as the occupancy deadline is the end of 2019. The company will be seeking Planning Commission approval at the June 2018 meeting with the anticipated closing of the property as early as September 1st . Construction will commence in the fourth quarter of this year. This project requires the completion of the loop extension of Altair Parkway and Westar Boulevard with the total cost approximately $3.2million. As part of the mid-year supplemental appropriation, the intent is to initiate roadway design for this loop roadway as well as Road A this summer (estimated cost for engineering and design is $250,000).
The closing of this property is contingent upon Council approval of a 100%, 12-year property tax abatement, through the proposed Community Reinvestment Area (CRA) agreement. This project meets the requirements of the Westerville Commerce Center Community Reinvestment Area and it’s consistent with the City’s revenue sharing agreement with the Westerville City School District. Based on the completion of this development and removal of the CAUV (agriculture use) designation, the annual increase to WCSD will be approximately $250,000 and the increase to the City’s Fire Fund will be approximately $7,500.
Overall, this project provides three significant opportunities: 1) it secures and grows a top three employer in the community through 2031; 2) it allows for the attraction of new large businesses to Westar I and II (where DHL will be vacating); and 3) the sale of this property along with the other Westar Place properties in contract will facilitate the pay off the remaining one-year note used to finance the $6.3 million land acquisition with 5 parcels still remaining available for sale. As a reminder, proceeds from the TIF will be used to reimburse the City for the needed roadway extension costs.
Westerville Planning Commission will hear design plans for the building in June.