The building and development department is responsible for administering the building and zoning codes of the City as well as property maintenance code enforcement. The department is comprised of two full-time staff, a director and city planner, with support from the customer service staff and an inspector in the public works department. The City contracts for building, electrical and plumbing plan review and inspections with private contractors. In addition to building permitting, the development department is also responsible for strategic and long-range planning, economic and business development and general community development projects. The department provides staff support to the Planning Commission, Landmarks Commission and the Board of Zoning Appeals.
Montgomery Center East
After a year of planning and negotiations, the City concluded an agreement with the new owners of the commercial section of the Vintage Club to locate a new outpatient center and medical offices for Christ Hospital on the southwest portion of the property. A new 80,000 square foot building will be built by the developer, Brandicorp, with the City committing to construct a 321-space parking garage under a portion of the building. As work began on the garage, Brandicorp and Christ Hospital approached the City about constructing an additional 20,000 square foot building adjacent to the main building for Christ Hospital. The Planning Commission approved this proposal at the end of the year. The development department also began discussions with the developer regarding future plans for the rest of the commercial section.
At the other end of Montgomery Road, the Montgomery Gateway Center East project was completed and occupied. Coldwell Banker consolidated several of its offices on the second floor, and in December a new coal-fired pizza restaurant, Delicio, opened on the first floor.
In late spring, the department was contacted by Ohio National Financial Services about the potential to expand its parking garage. Efficiencies in building design allowed them to add more employees within their existing building; however, the existing parking garage was not large enough to handle the additional staff. Working closely with the company and surrounding neighbors, staff and the Planning Commission approved a plan to add 202 parking spaces to the garage. Work began on this important project at the end of 2013.
There were other positive developments in the City during the year, including the opening of eleven new businesses. The long-vacant Stafford Jewelry store was converted to a new orthodontics center, conveniently located next to Montgomery Elementary School. Work was nearly completed on Montgomery Hill, the ten-unit condominium townhouse project that had been stalled for many years by the downturn in the housing market. Plans continued to evolve for the two car dealership properties between downtown and Ronald Reagan Highway.
A total of 18 commercial building permits for new construction and expansion were issued in 2013, which is slightly lower than the 24 permits issued in 2012; however, the total value of improvements in 2013 was significantly higher than in 2012. The total value of new commercial, commercial additions and alterations was $17.1 million versus $14.1 million in 2012.
It was not just the commercial sector that became active. The building department also issued 35 permits for new homes and 42 permits for residential remodeling/room additions. The total value of residential construction was estimated at $21.7 million. The number of teardowns also increased dramatically in 2013. The City issued 23 demolition permits in 2013, which is the largest number of residential demolition permits issued in a single year. The number of residential demolition permits was significantly higher than in past years, with the exception of 2005, which saw 22 teardowns. Since 2001, there have been a total of 157 teardowns in the City.