WESTERVILLE — If you were to drive far enough along Polaris Parkway, at the corner of Cleveland Avenue, you would see a business park called Westar.
It’s the home of DHL’s new North American headquarters; the Renaissance Hotel; Elevate office suites; Central Ohio Physicians Care (COPC) headquarters; Westar OB/GYN; and other businesses.
Although it is in Westerville and considered one of that city’s six “Strategic Locations” to do business, it’s technically part of Delaware County.
“Westar is situated in Delaware County, the fastest-growing county in the state,” states the City of Westerville’s Economic Development website. “Westar is a desirable location for commercial development, home to corporate headquarters and businesses in the health care, technology and financial services sectors, and approximately 7,000 jobs.
“This area is ideally suited for commerce, conveniently located within a 30-minute drive to every major metropolitan area in the Columbus Region, with two convenient access points to the Westerville community, including Polaris Parkway and Cleveland Avenue,” the Westerville Economic Development site continued. “At the turn of the century, the city committed $30 million to extend road networks and other related infrastructure in this area, laying the groundwork for what would ultimately become Westar.”
Even though construction continues in the area and much of it still looks brand new, Westar officially turned 20 in November. When it began, the place was called the “941 corridor” because there was 941 acres of farmland. The city annexed it and invested the money to extend Polaris Parkway to Maxtown Road in Genoa Township.
“Westar is truly a case study in smart, intentional planning and strategic execution,” states City Manager Dave Collinsworth on Westerville’s website. “City leaders saw the potential for this area decades ago and we continue to improve upon and shepherd that vision into reality. That intention and follow-through exemplifies what we call ‘The Westerville Way.’ A healthy, thriving business community in Westerville benefits the residents because it drives our income tax base, funding critical city services.”
The city touts its permitting approval process, saying COPC’s headquarters was completed in 15 months; and notes the businesses in Westar constitute thousands of jobs and millions in income tax revenues.
Another “Strategic Location” in Westerville that encompasses part of Delaware County is what the city calls the “Medical Mile.” This corridor has the OhioHealth Westerville Medical Campus location in Delaware County at 300 Polaris Parkway (and Africa Road), and it extends into Franklin County at Mount Carmel St. Ann’s Hospital at 500 S. Cleveland Ave.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0906 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.