OSU Spends $10 Million To Stop Apartment Complex - WCBD-TV: News, Weather, and Sports for Charleston, SC

OSU Spends $10 Million To Stop Apartment Complex

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COLUMBUS, Ohio -

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church has been part of The Ohio State University since the 1920's.

The church's land at the corner of High Street and Woodruff Avenue was on the verge of being greatly changed with an apartment complex, but OSU stepped in and made an offer to give the church $10.5 million to pull out of the apartment deal.

The university said that such a building wouldn't work with its plan of a near $400 million north campus development.

That plan will double the number of beds, and includes a new residence hall at the corner of Lane Avenue and High Street, but is buying off competition a role for a public university?

"It's one of those that has you scratch your head initially," said Robert Alt with The Buckeye Institute, a public policy think tank that researches government use of taxpayer money.

He said the deal may actually be good for taxpayers in the long run, but not necessarily the students or their parents in the short term.

"It's not clear that that would be the best use of funds for the students, which is to say it's not clear that there wouldn't have been better competitive options available by allowing the development to go forward," said Alt.  

There is already construction underway throughout campus.

The new residence halls will be operating by 2016.

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