The City of Upper Arlington will provide Pizzuti Solutions with approximately $ 2.12 million to serve as the owner’s representative for the design and construction of a community center at the Kingsdale Mall.
The company, a division of The Pizzuti Companies, based in Columbus, will provide a range of services throughout the design and construction phases, including project supervision, schedule and budget management, assistance with procurement, design review, construction supervision and closure assistance.
Upper Arlington City Council voted 6-0, without comment, to approve the contract with Pizzuti Solutions on May 24.
Councilor John Kulewicz has recused himself because he works for a law firm that represents Continental Real Estate Cos., A company that is redeveloping the old Macy’s site in Kingsdale where the community center will be built at an estimated cost of $ 54.2 million.
“(The Community Center) is the largest and most complex (city-funded) project in the city’s history and we want to make sure we have all the expertise we need to make it successful. “said Chairman Brendan King after the vote. . “The city has a great staff, but no one in the organization has experience with a project of this magnitude.
“As is often the case with construction projects of this size, we hired a representative of the owner, Pizzuti Solutions, to protect our interests and help guide the city in this process.”
According to a May 17 staff report to City Manager Steve Schoeny and Jeff Anderson, the park development and arts superintendent, Pizzuti Solutions “will function as the single point of contact” for the city throughout the project.
The staff report states that Pizzuti Solutions “has provided services (to the owner’s representative) for many complex large-scale public sector projects,” including several in the city of Columbus, such as the Michael B. Coleman Governmental Center, the Linden Park Community Center; and the Columbus Metropolitan Park and Library redevelopment projects.
Emma Speight, the city’s director of community affairs, said there was no connection between Pizzuti Solutions and Margie Pizzuti, who co-chaired the city’s community center feasibility working group.
The staff report to the board indicates that Pizzuti Solutions is one of the 11 companies competing for the contract. The report states that the contract amount is equal to 2.75% of the total estimated project budget of $ 70 million, plus a 10% contingency fee that is built in for unforeseen expenses.
“Since the bonds have not been issued for this project at the moment, the city will have to transfer the $ 2,117,500 from the reserves of the general fund to the infrastructure improvement fund in order to properly account for this transaction”, indicates staff report. “This is in line with the financial model developed as part of the Community Center Feasibility Working Group process. ”
The city plans to build a 95,300 square foot facility in Kingsdale after on May 4, voters approved a “consultative question” asking if Upper Arlington should build a new community center.
Plans for a 7-story community center included an indoor pool, fitness facilities, three gymnasiums, a walking / running track, senior programming space, daycare, and multi-purpose event space. The top two floors of the building will be reserved for rental for professional offices.
Construction is expected to begin in 2022 for the facility to open in 2024.
The community center is part of a larger redevelopment of the former Macy’s site by Continental, which plans to construct three 7-story buildings.
In addition to the community center, the Continental portion of the project is expected to produce 325 one- and two-bedroom apartments, eight townhouses, 142 assisted living units and 6,000 square feet of dining space on the ground floor.
City officials have promised that no income tax or property tax will be levied to finance the construction of the community center. Schoeny said the city would issue $ 55 million in bonds to finance construction.
He said the bulk of the debt incurred by the project will be paid off with approximately $ 1.6 million in annual revenue generated over 30 years through tax increase funding agreements with Continental for the Macy’s redevelopment, as well as two previously established funds.
Through these arrangements, which were also approved by Upper Arlington Schools, developers pay money that would otherwise go to the school district through property taxes. The city can use money from TIF funds for “public infrastructure improvements”.
Schoeny said other sources of funding for the community center would include about $ 500,000 in annual resort taxes that guests pay to stay at two Upper Arlington hotels, as well as $ 5.42 million that could be raised through the naming rights and other gifts and approximately $ 450,000 per year. taxes on expected profits from the redeveloped site.
That would leave the city’s cash contribution at around $ 8.8 million, which the task force said could be funded by a portion of Upper Arlington’s “rainy days” fund.
Another $ 264,512 could be raised each year, the task force estimated, by renting office space on the sixth and seventh floors. This money would be more than what the task force deemed necessary to service the construction debt.
Officials said the ongoing running costs of the community center will be funded by membership dues.
Speight said on June 1 that the city “is preparing to” issue requests for qualifications to design the community center “with the aim of making a recommendation to council over the summer.”
“A final development plan for the community center building will be submitted to the Zoning and Planning Board for review and approval before construction begins,” she said. “A schedule for this is pending.”
Speight said the city is “continuing discussions with potential tenants for a significant portion” of the office space in the community center building.
Demolition of what was the Macy’s blue brick building that anchored Kingsdale from 1970 to 2015 began the week of May 17.