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Penn National Announces Annexation Into Columbus

After a last minute snag in negotiations, Penn National has agreed to annex its West Side casino site into Columbus. The deal with the city and Columbus Dispatch should clear the way for the casino. It looked as if West Side casino developers and the city of Columbus would end up in trial after a settlement agreement deadline lapsed Tuesday. But Nationwide Realty Investors agreed to buy the original casino site in the Arena District for $11 million. And The Dispatch Printing Company and Penn National have dropped their suits against each other the last two pieces of the settlement agreement between Penn and the city that needed to be finalized. "And the end result here is that all of the issues have been settled between all of the parties and from here on we can focus on the construction of the casino and getting it open and creating those 2,000 jobs that will be created once the casino opens," said Bob Tenenbaum, Penn National spokesman. Nationwide Realty Investor's President Brian Ellis said he expected to close on the property within a month. "Our expectation is it will be largely a residential project," he said. With the settlement complete, Penn National will get $15 million for site cleanup from the city and receive water and sewer services at the casino. The city will garner millions of dollars in annual tax revenue.