In 2006, the Ohio Department of Development sought proposals for the first $60 million round of awards and received 63 applications. The Dublin West Innovation District Job Ready Site, located in the City of Dublin, was selected as a first funding round awardee and received an Ohio Job Ready Site grant in the amount of $1,965,340.
Dublin is located northwest of downtown Columbus along Interstate 270 and U.S. Route 33. Positioned along several highways with direct regional access and with a highly educated workforce, Dublin has become home to more than 3,000 companies in key industries including R&D, IT, professional services, and corporate headquarters. Dublin's population is more than 40,000, and its location and transportation access allows its employers to draw from a broad labor pool.
The nearly 200-acre Dublin West Innovation District Job Ready Site is located in the western edge of Dublin in the 1,100-acre West Innovation District. The West Innovation District is the city's business area targeted for new development of high-tech office space, clean manufacturing facilities, and related supporting purposes. This area will be home to the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine Central Ohio campus. In addition, the Nestle Quality Assurance Center, the global brand's largest U.S. quality laboratory, is also located in the West Innovation District, adjacent to Dublin's Job Ready Site.
Current road infrastructure needed improvement to accommodate the increase of commercial activity expected as a result of the development. State Route 161 was in need of widening, and the U.S. Route 33 and State Route 161 interchange needed modification and improvement. These improvements combined with significant infrastructure investments were necessary to accommodate the strategic development of the area.
The $1,965,340 Job Ready Site grant allowed the City of Dublin to make significant improvements to the Dublin West Innovation District Job Ready Site, which now includes nearly 200 acres of city-owned property. Surrounding the site, roadways were relocated to provide better traffic access and circulation throughout the site and the West Innovation District. The site's utilities including water, sewer, and natural gas lines were extended or relocated through the West Innovation District and sites.