West Carrollton is hiring a consultant to map the future of its West Central Avenue corridor, focusing on the former sites of two paper mills at the city’s center.
A Columbus firm is the choice to perform the study, a strategic plan that involves the district spanning Central from Elm Street to Miami Avenue. It includes the former sites of the Fraser and Ahlstrom mills, the senior center, the north side of West Central and runs parallel to the Great Miami River, according to the city.
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The former Fraser and Ahlstrom sites include more than 60 acres that have been vacant since being demolished in 2014 and 2015, respectively, West Carrollton Planning Director Greg Gaines said.
OHM Advisors is expected to take about nine months on the redevelopment plan. It involves a heavily-residential area, which “creates a different dynamic that we want to be sensitive to,” Gaines said.
“So I think the study’s going to have a lot of public involvement from the standpoint of planning commission, but also the neighborhood – stakeholders in that area, both residential and non-residential,” he said.
The goal is to create a plan that is “market-based and sustainable that at the same time is going to be complementary to what’s there now in the neighborhood,” Gaines added.
The city will pay OHM $62,500, records show, $50,000 from Montgomery County Land Bank funds approved last year. OHM was tied for the three lowest bids from seven firms in Ohio, Kentucky and Illinois, documents show.
West Carrollton City Council approved OHM’s hiring last week after a recommendation “based on the strength of the proposal and a bid amount within budget,” city records show.
Other bids included: Envision Group LLC, Cleveland, $55,000; Cyp Studios, Worthington, $61,990; and MKSK, Covington, Ky., $62,500.
The plan will “help us try to get things moving forward for that whole area down there,” said West Carrollton Mayor Jeff Sanner, “making it more inviting for people to come.”
OHM is working with the suburban Columbus firm of DiSalvo Development Advisors, which will perform “field research and interviews” for the area’s best use, Gaines said.
OHM’s preliminary approach includes eight tasks “aimed at soliciting feedback and insight from the key stakeholders and the community throughout the planning process,” city records show.
OHM will work with the city’s planning commission throughout the process, Gaines said.
Aside from the market study, it will include plans two public workshops, plus a steering committee. Preliminary plans also call for an analysis of existing conditions, alternative redevelopment options and draft of a preferred plan.