High North (Worthington Mall)
Plans Submitted to Revitalize The Shops at Worthington Place
The City of Worthington has received a proposal to redevelop The Shops at Worthington Place mall into a mixed-used space rebranded as High North.
Direct Retail Partners, a development team from Dallas, Texas, purchased the property in December 2019 with plans to revitalize the underperforming retail space. They have filed a development application with the City of Worthington, seeking to rezone the property to a Planned Unit Development (PUD). Plans call for a phased approach to redevelop and revitalize the 15+ acre property southwest of the I-270/SR-23 interchange.
April 2021 Update
A public hearing will take place at the April 19, 2021 Worthington City Council meeting to discuss the proposed rezoning and subdivision of the Shops at Worthington Place to permit redevelopment of the site in two phases.
April 19, 2021 City Council packet (High North Memo and Materials begin on page 31)
On March 25, 2021, the Municipal Planning Commission unanimously recommended approval of the rezoning and subdivision. The subdivision would create a new parcel for the northern office building with the condition that the newly created parcel be recaptured into the Architectural Review District.
If approved by City Council, the zoning would be subject to a 60-day referendum period. After the referendum period, the applicant would come back to the Municipal Planning Commission for PUD Final Plan and Architectural Review Board approval.
The Architectural Review Board also approved a separate application on March 25 to demolish approximately 21,000 sq. ft. of the existing northern portion of the mall. If for some reason the rezoning portion of the application were to be delayed or overturned, this application requires the northern side of the mall to be refaced and the site to be restored in compliance with the approved plans.
Since its submittal and initial review in 2020, the applicant has made several modifications to the original proposal. The changes reflect comments from the community, ARB & MPC members, and changes related to the current market conditions.
The redevelopment of the site is expected to occur in two phases. Phase I calls for the demolition of the mall’s existing northern portion to make room for a 10-story Class A office/mixed-use building.
- Renovation of the existing mall and construction of a central promenade for pedestrians will also occur in this phase.
- Reconfiguration of the access drives adjacent to the east and west sides of the building.
- Phase I will also include removal of the westernmost section of the existing retail.
Phase II plans include a 6-story Class A office/mixed-use building on the southern portion of the site. This height is reduced from the originally proposed 10-story request. The building would have a maximum height of 4-stories within the first 100-feet of W. Wilson Bridge Rd. with the remaining height stepped back from the roadway. This reduction in height addressed staff comments and comments from the community concerning the height. The 10-story hotel/residential/mixed-use building has been removed from the proposal.
The City has been pursuing Class A office space to help attract and retain businesses with a desire for nearby quality of life amenities for their employees. In addition to the economic impact of the project, the proposal includes amenities such as a public plaza and additional dining options. The City recognizes that a hotel is not feasible for this development at this time.