UNION — Only a handful of people attended a public hearing Monday evening at Union City Council for a change in zoning for 2.44 acres of land located in the north side of Jackson Road east of Frederick Pike and west of Union Airpark Boulevard.
The zoning for two residential lots was changed from R-3 residential for single family homes to Light-Industrial.
“We knew at some point when we zoned everything else around there that the owner of those two lots, which is Richard and Debra Theis, were going to ask for rezoning,” said City Manager John Applegate. “They currently have an option on their ground from Opus, and we know from meeting with Opus that they asked them to get the zoning changed. The two vacant lots are going from R-3 to Light-Industrial at the request of the property owners.”
Vice Mayor John Bruns asked if any comments about the rezoning had been received by mail or email.
“No. We had a couple who had come in earlier that happened to have owned one of the houses that is just to the west, and their concern was that they know that Opus has a sign up,” Applegate replied. “They wanted to know if there were any concrete plans for these lots and I told them no. I have talked to Mr. Coffee in the past and I told him that once we knew something that was concrete that I could actually confirm that a company is coming in, that I would personally call him.”
Applegate said he showed the Coffees the preliminary map that is on the Opus website and it was something that he had already seen.
“That is all we have. It is preliminary,” Applegate added. “They are doing their due diligence and once that is done there is no client, but they may build a spec building. That has not been determined as of yet.”
The building schematic on the Opus website shows that it would be built just to the west of the current Proctor & Gamble building and appears to be more than two times as large. The P&G building measures more than a half-mile long and consists of one million square feet.
According to Applegate, Opus has an option on more than 225 acres of land that Union annexed from Butler Township, including the Oaks farm and the Theis farm. Opus builds distribution and manufacturing facilities.
The Opus Group® is a family of commercial real estate development, construction and design companies headquartered in Minneapolis with offices and projects across the country. The company has expertise in development, capital markets and finance; project management and construction; and architecture, engineering and interior design.
Derrick Gentry, who owns land located directly across the street from where the potential facility would be built, said that it might be wise for him and his wife to have their property rezoned or to be annexed into the city if that would speed the process along.
“We knew this was coming and we just want out. I don’t want to stare at a big building,” Gentry stated.
Applegate asked Gentry to give him a call to schedule a time to discuss that procedure.