macy'sThe City of Upper Arlington plans to redevelop Kingsdale Shopping Center

By Jane Eskildsen, ’15

The scenery of the parking lot split between MCL, Giant Eagle Market District and Macy’s at Kingsdale is about to look a whole lot different. The Upper Arlington Macy’s is going out of business and is sending the recently developed Kingsdale Center into another round of construction.

Macy’s will close its store in Kingsdale Shopping Center by the end of March, marking the end of a 10-year run in the Upper Arlington location.

Macy’s decided to close its doors because the store did not fit its current business model relative to location and ownership. Their current business model is to lease facilities.

The site was bought out by Kroger, putting the majority of Macy’s employees out of a job. Some of the 115 Kingsdale store employees might be offered jobs in nearby stores, and the rest will be offered unemployment benefits, Macy’s said in a news release.

Upper Arlington City Manager Ted Stanton told The Columbus Dispatch in an interview that he was “excited about the prospect of further redevelopment at Kingsdale.”

Representatives with Upper Arlington’s Community and Economic Development Department announced that early discussions involved the development of a mixed-use concept at the site.

Community & Economic Development Manager Robert Lamb explains what mixed-use concept means.

“Zoning regulations set a framework to guide landowners in understanding how they can use their property while remaining in compliance with municipal policies,” Lamb said. “The City zoned the Kingsdale Shopping area [mixed-use development] in order to position the land in a manner that would help the community with securing amenities and providing the landowners with a wide variety of ways to use their property.”

Lamb hopes that Kroger will keep this plan in mind when deciding upon development of that area.

“The [Planned Mixed Use Development] zoning allows for a mixture of office, retail, restaurants and residential uses,” Lamb said. “This type of mixture of uses is called mixed-use zoning. It is our hope that Kroger embraces this mixed-use approach to developing their site.”

According to Lamb, Macy’s prefers to operate stores that are close to highways, such as their Easton and Polaris locations. This store closing provides a great opportunity for the city to redevelop the land and explore new uses for this location.

Lamb said that the community development office was looking forward to the developments because Upper Arlington has few chances to redesign its streets.

“The City of Upper Arlington…has very limited opportunities to expand its boundaries,” Lamb said. “Therefore, the city focuses a large part of its economic development and development efforts on supporting and encouraging redevelopment in the city.”

The new Macy’s includes negative consequences that are far from appealing to UA citizens. For example, higher taxes.

The redevelopment of this site has the potential to increase the property taxes and payroll taxes that are generated from the site,” Lamb said. “[However], the increased taxes can be used to support services that the schools, library and city provide to residents. It is my hope that this project will move forward in a manner that can be embraced by the community.”

Image caption: Approximately a decade ago, Lazarus at Kingsdale was sold to Macy’s. Now, the lot is being sold again to Kroger. It is the hope of Upper Arlington City Management that Kroger takes advantage of the mixed-use development in place.

Image by: Wikimapia