The History of POLARIS - POLARIS Centers of Commerce

The History of POLARIS

POLARIS began in 1987 when NP Limited Partnership (NP), an Ohio limited partnership, was formed consisting of the general partnership of Bob Echele, Don Kelley and Bob Weiler, along with several limited partners, all who had a common belief in the development potential of POLARIS Centers of Commerce.
NP purchased land, 15 parcels, totaling over 1,200 acres, with all the purchases completed by 1990. There were two small houses, two barns and a chicken coop. There were no roads, no utilities, no access and no believers outside of NP.

After three years of work with Delaware County, the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission, the State of Ohio and the Federal Highway Administration, NP was granted a permit to build an interchange on Interstate 71. This was one of the first privately funded interchanges in the State of Ohio and provided direct access to a new road, Polaris Parkway. The City of Columbus annexed POLARIS during the construction of the interchange.


NP paid 80% of the costs of Polaris Parkway and funded construction of sanitary sewer lines and water mains along Polaris Parkway.
When the POLARIS Interchange opened in November, 1991, the first building was already completed. It was a two-story, 60,000 square foot high tech assembly building built by B.F. Goodrich for its Aerospace Division. The facility was later expanded and converted into a food research and testing facility for the Borden Companies.
NP’s original conceptual land plans envisioned a large mixed-use project with a large office building on the west side of I-71. This large, monolithic structure defied any realistic expectations.

However, in 1994 Bank One (now Chase) acquired 175 acres and began a building of what has become the second largest, single user occupied building in the World behind the Pentagon. It has over 2 million square feet, housing approximately 10,000 employees.

In 1998 the most significant retail development took place with the construction of Polaris Towne Center, a 750,000 square foot inline retail center. In October of 2001, the Polaris Fashion Place opened with seven anchor department stores. This 1-1/2 million square foot mall was built in 385 days.

From farm land in 1991, POLARIS has grown to be the largest mixed-use development in Central Ohio.

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