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Nationwide’s pitch for ballpark can’t be beat

March 29th, 2006
Robert Vitale, Columbus Dispatch

The company that built Nationwide Arena and came up with the idea for an entertainment district to surround it now will turn its attention to one of the neighborhood’s final pieces.

Franklin County commissioners chose Nationwide Realty Investors yesterday to oversee development of Huntington Park, the new Arena District baseball stadium they plan to build for the county-owned Columbus Clippers.

One of its major selling points: The ”hometown team,” as Commissioner Paula Brooks called the locally based arm of Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., has offered to do the job free.

Nationwide Realty President Brian Ellis said the company will waive its fees as a ”portion of our contribution to the project.” For a project the size of the $55 million stadium, owner’s representatives usually would charge up to $1.25 million.

Two other companies chosen to present their plans last week estimated their charges at $700,000 to $900,000, county officials said.

”We see this project very much as a civic project,” Ellis said. ”We want to see a great facility. We want to see that project done on time and on budget.”

On time might prove to be a challenge.



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