In January 2021, Powell City Council unanimously approved a contract with Integrated Wellness Partners (IWP) and Signet Enterprises to conduct a feasibility study for a potential health and wellness center in the city of Powell.
The feasibility process included a needs assessment, market study, core program identification, operations and staffing plans and a project narrative for medical fitness.
“The 2015 City of Powell Comprehensive Plan recommended exploring options for the creation of a community recreation center,” said City Manager Andrew White. “The feasibility study is the first step to evaluate the possibility of a public-private wellness center partnership. Previous Community Attitude Surveys as well as the Comprehensive Plan show the desire from our residents to have this type of service in the community.”
Signet/IWP took into consideration many quantitative and qualitative aspects as part of their primary study methodology. These factors included a review and analysis of the broad economic conditions in the country, region and market; an analysis of the household demographic conditions of the surrounding market; health needs assessment; stakeholder interviews and more.
“While the 2020 pandemic impacted the city of Powell, it has weathered this unprecedented challenge better than most communities across the country, in the Midwest and in Ohio,” said Signet/IWP in the report.
Powell has an unemployment rate of 3.8 percent compared to 6 percent nationally. Powell’s job growth is expected to rise by 35.8 percent over the next 10 years while the U.S. job growth is predicted to grow by 33.5 percent. The average per capita income of a Powell resident is more than 70 percent higher than the U.S. average, and Powell’s median household income is a staggering 250 percent above the typical U.S. household.
Signet/IWP identified three potential sites for a wellness center as part of their study – Village Green Park (47 Hall Street), Adventure Park (260 Adventure Park Drive) and Seldom Seen Park (3232 Seldom Seen Road).
Through the study, Village Green Park emerged as the preferred location for the potential wellness center. The current green space is approximately 6.46 acres and could support building approximately 44,500 square feet of building space and associated surface parking. It would also support the construction of indoor pools, one of the services noted as a need by stakeholders. Creating a new ingress and egress to the parking lot would be required and may be achieved by utilizing city-owned land.
“Based on Signet/IWP’s evaluation of a variety of factors related to each of the sites under consideration, we felt the south portion of the Village Green site would provide the best opportunity for long-term project success,” said Signet/IWP in their report. “This location would also allow for interaction with other downtown development.”
The Signet/IWP report strongly recommends consideration for the inclusion of office/retail space to promote medical, retail and community stakeholder integration. The additional revenue derived from associated rents would help close any operating deficit and enhance the facility’s destination quality for residents. Tenants could include one or more area health systems, co-working space and/or a number of 501(c)(3) organizations that provide community programming.
Funding for the site would be accomplished through a public-private model and would include a master lease structure to alleviate operating deficit.
“Our residents, businesses and key community collaborators would benefit greatly from a successful operation of an integrated wellness center with associated programming that employs a whole-person approach to improved health, wellbeing and recreation,” said Mayor Frank Bertone. “We are pleased to review the findings from the study and begin to discuss next steps.”
“Delaware County continues to be rated as one of the healthiest communities in the United States,” said White “The U.S. News Healthiest Communities ranked Delaware County as the 16th healthiest community in the United States in 2020. Integrated wellness centers with a focus on the whole-person play an integral role in communities and expand the array of services delivered to residents. The study clearly indicates the need and support for an integrated wellness center in Powell.”