By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport city workers have begun clearing the nearly half acre site of a former used car lot, located on the northwest corner of Main and College streets, to get it ready for future development.
In 2018, the city of Groveport purchased the property at 490 Main St., which previously was the home of Stebe’s Sales Inc., a used car business that operated there for many years. Groveport City Council approved contracting to buy the .492 acre property for $250,000 from Kenneth E. Stebelton.
This winter, city workers began taking out the car lot signage, the posts and cable that border the property, and the concrete parking blocks. Next to be removed is the 324 square foot office building that sits on the site.
“We are in the process of removing the building,” wrote Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall in a report to Groveport City Council. “However, it requires permitting, removal of utilities, asbestos report, etc., before the building can be demolished.”
In an interview Jan. 14, Hall said they hope to have the building demolished sometime within the next month. She also said the asphalt paving on the property will most likely be removed this spring and grass planted as soon as weather permits.
On Jan. 14, Groveport Finance Director and Assistant Administrator Jeff Green said the city is advertising for requests for proposals for development of the site and that a sign advertising the property as an opportunity for business development will be placed on the site near the corner of Main and College streets.
While there are no developer prospects for the property yet, Hall said the city’s plan is to enter into a long term lease or purchase contract, with conditions, with a potential developer.
“This is a primary property in the city’s downtown,” said Hall. “A long term lease or contract with conditions allows the city to control the site’s future use and the types of development that can occur there.”
In 2018, Green said there is a desire to develop the site for some type of retail or restaurant, though there is nothing definite in the works at the present time.
Alleys border the site to the west and north. When asked if the alleys could be upgraded with new pavement and drainage improvements in anticipation of new development, Green said, “It depends on the development, but some improvements would be likely.”
Green said there are no plans to make the site a parking lot. Additionally,
Green said there are no plans to turn the site into a small park.
When asked if the city would consider using the site for things like the farmers’ market or other city events, Green said, “This is still under discussion. Any use other than permanent development would obviously be temporary.”