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The Westland Mall Site Is Undergoing A Massive Transformation

Big changes are on the horizon for the Westland Mall site.

This spring, grant-funded work to clean up the 86-acre Westland Mall site gets underway after years of being left unoccupied. The Ohio Building Destruction and Site Revitalization Program is attempting to revamp the region with a $10 million award.

“It is the elephant in the room on the west side. These physical and environmental rollups have paralyzed the site,” said Larry Ruben, the Principal Owner of the Westland Mall.

Ruben is collaborating with a nearby business called Phoenix Environmental on the roadblocks to keep the West Broad Corridor moving forward.

Photo via Jsjessee (Flickr)

“We got an eleventh-hour call from Larry (Ruben) about the grant. It was going to be denied due to the perception that the site was a Brownfield,” said Jeff Paetz, President of Phoenix Environmental.

Phoenix Environmental employees showed during inquiry efforts that the site did not fit the description of a “Brownfield.”

Phoenix spent $30,000 on an on-site inquiry, and the testing findings showed no signs of chemical presence exceeding state regulations. As a result, funding for demolition was obtained, and Paetz and Ruben are continuing with the plans.

“There is a huge impact that this kind of grant can create. Most developers don’t want to invest this type of money up front to create a blank canvas,” said Ruben.

The completion of the environmental work and the establishment of short-term plans for the site’s use, according to Ruben, might take up to a year.

The Westland Mall may see many million square feet of construction in the future.

Expect mixed-use, according to Ruben, which will provide locals with the chance to live, work, and play on the property with multi-family housing, shops, restaurants, and entertainment.

“This will change the landscape by size and scale, it will be a new Renaissance for the West side of Columbus,” said Ruben.