Columbus-based healthcare software company Olive is planning a major investment in the city of Worthington by moving its headquarters to the vacant former Anthem building at 6700 N. High St.
Worthington City Council voted unanimously April 4 to approve a financial incentive package ahead of the company’s move, which is expected to add up to 425 jobs and nearly $75 million in payroll to the city within 10 years, according to a memo from city staff.
“It’s a dream come true to be able to invest in this community and create many new jobs in Worthington,” Olive CEO Sean Lane said at the meeting.
Lane said the company had 200 employees before the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, and its ranks have since grown to 1,400.
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“The decision to invest in Worthington was because we believe Worthington is a great place to bring people from all over the world,” he said. “We believe that growth, progress and development can go hand in hand with everything that makes Worthington special. We intend to preserve all of those great things that make Worthington special as we invest in the town.
“Big companies want to be in big communities,” said board chairman David Robinson. “It’s where they work, bring clients, seek recruits, spend their time, put down roots. The character of their home community expresses and extends their brand. In this way, Olive and Worthington go well together , and I enthusiastically welcome them to our city, today and for the long term.”
Worthington’s financial incentive program includes a grant “equal to 20% of annual net new income tax collections, less any income tax refunds given to Olive employees, for a period of 10 years ”, with an estimated value of $1,339,542 but worth up to $3 million, according to the staff memo.
In addition, the property benefits from a 75% tax abatement over 10 years, due from 2024 to 2033. This abatement was introduced in 2019 to try to attract potential buyers, according to Worthington’s director of economic development. , David McCorkle.
Lane told the council that plans for the site were not yet finalized, but that the company planned to carry out renovations.
McCorkle played a significant role in the deal, which involved helping facilitate the sale of the property by the former owner of Anthem Lawyers Development Corp. to Olive for an undisclosed amount.
“This is a transformational opportunity for Worthington, and we look forward to supporting Olive’s creation of global headquarters,” McCorkle said in a statement. “Olive’s team and vendor, Lawyers Development Corporation, have been great to work with. We look forward to continued partnerships in the future.
“I thank Olive’s leadership and city staff, especially Director of Economic Development David McCorkle, for seeing a great opportunity that benefits everyone and then making it happen,” Robinson said.
According to information from Lawyers Development Corp., which acquired the 231,000-square-foot, 20-acre property in 2017, selling it was a rare move for the company because it doesn’t typically sell its properties. However, he agreed after the city “approached the company with this unique opportunity for the community,” according to a press release.
“The City of Worthington has set an outstanding example of how a municipal government should represent and protect its citizens while supporting well-planned development and use of property within its boundaries,” said Robert Meyers, the sole member of Worthington 17 LLC, which held the property. “Personally, I’m very pleased to have played a small part in shaping the future of a facility that has unlimited potential for the Worthington community, employees and owners of Olive AI, LLC.”
Olive was valued at over $4 billion in July 2021, according to the company’s website.
Lane could not be reached for further comment on April 5.