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Westside License Agency moves to Hilliard location
|The former Westside License Agency has moved to 5287 Westpointe Plaza Drive in Hilliard. They made the move after 30 years on the Westside.
When residents stroll into the Westland Mall to visit the Westside License Agency, they may be surprised to find the deputy registrar office vacant.
After spending 30 years on the Westside, the registrar moved to 5287 Westpointe Plaza Drive in Hilliard. It is located across from Wal-Mart and next to Starplex 10 movie theatre.
According to Deputy Registrar Joe Berkemer, they began aggressively searching for a new venue last fall. The decision came after he was told by Plaza Properties the building’s HVAC system failed, and could not be repaired, eliminating temperature control.
“We developed a loyal following over the years. I felt responsible for making my agency a comfortable place for them to visit, and the HVAC problem prevented me from providing the environment the customers deserved,” Berkemer said.
During the summer months, mall patrons could see industrial fans scattered throughout the mall’s interior, and some units could become sweltering. Berkemer said during the winter his staff became used to typing with fingerless gloves.
“Due to the steady decline of Westland, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles felt it would be best to relocate the agency before the mall began their planned remodeling, which could begin at any time,” Berkemer said.
It was a big move for Berkemer who has operated the registrar since it was located at Sylvan Avenue and West Broad Street in 1982, and later when it moved to Great Western, before spending the last eight years at Westland Mall.
“It was a difficult decision to move from the Hilltop, as I attended both West and Briggs high schools and have many friends I look forward to seeing each year when their renewals are due,” Berkemer said.
Westpointe Plaza was chosen for similar reasons to Westland Mall – its easy access from commonly used roads and highways. According to Berkemer the location is smaller, but oriented to create a quicker experience.
The departure of Westside License Agency from the mall was around the same time Homes on the Hills (HOTH) decided to find a new headquarters. HOTH also left because of the rumored closing of the building and issues with temperature control.
Only a few shoe and clothing stores remain at Westland Mall, along with some Hispanic oriented services. More than 50 other units remain vacant.
According to Nick Vollman, vice president of commercial leasing at Plaza Properties, they have nothing to report at this time.
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