Despite being a mature suburb, Bexley is looking to growRegional Spotlight — By Melanie McIntyre on April 23, 2013 at 8:00 am
Established in 1908, Bexley is a first-ring suburb of Columbus and a locale worth a second look for entrepreneurs and small business owners.
The city offers a variety of incentives to bring new businesses to the city, including income tax grants for office users, façade grants for improvements to property exteriors, property tax abatements for several types of new commercial development, and tax increment financing for infrastructure improvements as a component of new development.
Additionally, Bexley offers a suite of “soft” services, including marketing through the “Bexley Blast” weekly email newsletter, Bexley.org, the city’s Facebook page, and GoBexley.com, the city’s business promotion portal for visiting consumers that is currently under construction.
With Capital University, Bexley City Schools, Columbus School for Girls, and St. Charles Preparatory School, Bexley has more students per capita than any other city in Central Ohio.
“We think our smaller city dynamic, coupled with the density of students and institutions of learning, makes Bexley a great location for any business wishing to leverage the city’s education base,” says Bexley Mayor Ben Kessler, who also serves as the city’s development director.
“We also believe that Bexley is underserved by medical office uses and are actively working to secure medical office users for the city,” he adds.
This year, the city is anticipating absorption along Main Street in the office and retail sectors.
“There are several proposed redevelopments along Main, as well as North Cassady Avenue and Livingston Avenue that are still going through the preliminary planning process and are looking very promising,” Kessler says.
The city is in the process of planning free Wi-Fi service for the Main Street corridor, and this summer a streetscape project will bring beautification improvements to the area.
Also, financing is available for businesses along Main Street that are interested in public infrastructure improvements to serve their property.
Retail is thriving in all of Bexley’s commercial areas, Kessler says, adding that retail availability is at a historic low, which has presented challenges as the city looks to attract new restaurants and retail, and struggles with siting the projects.
For those considering locating their business in Bexley, Kessler’s advice is simple: “Just call!”
“We are quick to react to the needs of businesses, and we have a dedicated resident base that closely follows and supports new businesses,” he says.
To learn more about the city of Bexley, visit Bexley.org.
Melanie McIntyre served as editorial director of The Metropreneur from its launch in August 2010 to May 2013. She is also a featured writer for Columbus Underground and writes about fashion, style and pop culture on her blog, Thoroughly Modern Melly. Melanie is an Ohio State University graduate, lives in the Short North, and enjoys reading and running.
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