City budget includes funds for interior build outs for two new Main Street buildings

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Rarey’s Port building.

Groveport City Council plans to appropriate an additional $1.2 million towards the completion of the two new mixed use commercial buildings being constructed on Main Street.

The money will fund the interior build outs of the structures.

“The city is providing basic fixed equipment that will stay in the building in the event one of the tenants leaves,” said Groveport Development Director Jeff Green. “The tenants will provide most of their own equipment.”

Wert’s Grove building.

Green said the type of equipment the city is purchasing includes hoods, sinks, and walk-in coolers.

“The city is not paying for interior design,” said Green. “The city has negotiated with the tenants to provide a ‘warm vanilla shell’ that will include restrooms and drywall. Then tenants will pay for their own designs and ‘front of house’ finishes and all furniture and fixtures.”

When asked why the additional $1.2 million cost was not appropriated at the start of the project, Green said, “Because in our negotiations with the tenants, it became clear that their expectations were a lot more than our contract with Miller-Valentine (the contractor) provided. This has been the final point of our tenant negotiations – trying to determine ‘Landlord’s Work vs. Tenants’ Work.’ Miller-Valentine is constructing the basic shell.”

Green added that the second floor interior of the buildings will be completed once the first floor is complete and the tenants are moved in and in operation.

“We anticipate part of the basic finishing of the second floors will be part of the 2023 budget,” said Green.

Green said construction is progressing on the 14,145 square foot Rarey’s Port (674 Main St.) and the 12,184 square foot Wert’s Grove (480 Main St.) buildings that are part of the city of Groveport’s 1847 Main Project. Construction is expected to be completed on the buildings in the spring of 2022.

The steel skeleton of the Rarey’s Port building is visible and the steel framing began on the Wert’s Grove structure.

In a written report to Groveport City Council, Green said steel arrived on the Wert’s Grove site slowly and the steelworkers’ union is “experiencing serious labor shortages” due to the volume of construction work going on nationwide that has increased demand on “a workforce already spread thin.”

“For this reason, progress on both our buildings has been slower than anticipated because of the number of workers they’re able to have on this job,” wrote Green in his report to council. “Once the roof decking is complete on the Rarey’s Port building, (the contractor) anticipates they will be able to pull some workers of that project and start erecting steel at Wert’s Grove.”

About the 1847 Main Project
The cost to construct the two, two-story buildings is approximately $7.6 million. It is funded by a combination of non-tax revenue bonds and tax revenue bonds. According to Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr, non-tax revenue bonds equal taxable bonds and tax revenue bonds equal tax-exempt bonds. He said the project will be funded by general obligation bonds, which are bonds from the bond market and are not property tax bond issues that would be voted on by the residents.

Three restaurants will occupy the lower levels of the Wert’s Grove and Rarey’s Port buildings. They include: Delaney’s Diner – a breakfast, lunch, brunch restaurant that will occupy 4,000 square feet of space with a patio on the west end of the Rarey’s Port building; Preston’s: A Burger Joint and Honey’s Fried Chicken, which will occupy a little under 3,000 square feet on the west end of the Wert’s Grove building; and Mmelo Confectionary & Café – a high-end chocolates and confections place that also offers breads and pastries, a full lunch and dinner menu, and made to order specialties, coffee and espresso – will occupy around 2,300 square feet, plus patio, on the east end of the Wert’s Grove building.

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