By Rick Palsgrove
The city of Groveport is looking to purchase the property located at 480 Main St. to enhance the development opportunities for the northwest corner of Main and College streets.
Groveport City Council is considering legislation to authorize the purchase of the property. According to Groveport Development Director/Assistant Administrator Jeff Green, the potential purchase price is $150,000.
The .19 acre, 480 Main St. site, currently owned by Shirley White, includes a 2,048 square foot, seven room, two-story frame house that was built in 1920. According to the Franklin County Auditor’s website, the property has a market value of $110,000 and a 2019 taxable value of $38,510.
The 480 Main St. property is adjacent to 490 Main St., a .492 acre site that the city purchased for $250,000 in 2018. That property previously was the home of Stebe’s Sales Inc., a used car business that operated there for many years. The 490 Main St. site is now a vacant lot.
When asked why the city seeks to purchase the property at 480 Main St., Green indicated it would enhance the chances of the whole northwest corner of Main and College streets being developed and that it would “maximize the development potential of the corner and allow sufficient space for a building and adequate parking.”
In a written report to council, Groveport City Administrator B.J. King wrote, “If purchased, the property will be combined with the adjacent city owned property, making a larger lot for commercial development.”
Green said city officials envision the corner being developed as a, “Mixed use. Retail/restaurant/office.”
Green added there are no potential developers in negotiations for this site right now.
He said that, if the property at 480 Main St. is purchased, the city would demolish the structure on the property.
“Cost of demolition is unknown at this time, but I’d estimate it at $15,000 to 20,000,” said Green.
When asked how the development of the northwest corner of Main and College streets fit in with the city’s overall plans to develop and enhance small business development along the town’s Main Street corridor in the historic heart of the city, Green said, “Council views this property as a key element in the overall development of historic downtown Groveport.”
He added that the site will remain vacant until developed.
In the city’s 2020 budget, council approved a Phase 1 environmental study and an architectural study for the city owned property on the northwest corner of Main and College streets at a cost of $25,000. Also in the budget, the city’s Community Improvement Corporation is slated to receive $25,000 to aid in the search for downtown business development.
Main Street development timeline
For approximately the last 18 years, Groveport city officials have taken steps to re-develop the city’s historic downtown core along Main Street. The following is a timeline of what has transpired so far.
•2002 – The city bought the two former gas station properties at the northeast corner of Main and Front streets for $305,000. The city’s public works department demolished the structures.
•2004 – The city purchased the former ceramics shop and doctors’ offices at 716 and 728 Main Streets for $230,000. The buildings are demolished at a cost of $7,300.
•2005 – The city purchased properties at 651, 653, and 657 Main St. for $235,000.
•2006 – The city demolished the buildings at 651, 653, and 657 Main St. at a cost of $16,500 after it was determined it would cost $360,000 to rehabilitate the structures.
•2013 – The owners of the business at 649 Main St. purchased the 651, 653, 657 Main St. parcels from the city for $13,000 for possible expansion of their business sometime in the future. City officials indicate that currently the city has received no word on when the business owner will develop this site.
•2013 – Plans are made to build the Ace Hardware store at 726 Main St.
•2013 – The city budgeted $1 million to construct the large municipal parking lot, sidewalks, bike path, and landscaping near the Ace Hardware and the undeveloped grassy site extending from the northeast corner of Main and Front streets.
•2015 – Ace Hardware opened at 726 Main St.
•Various plans and proposals were made over the years to develop a “Groveport Town Center” project on the grassy area extending from the northeast corner of Main and Front streets, but as of yet no project for this site has been confirmed. In the mean time, the site is being used for the city’s annual summer farmers’ market.
•2018 – The city purchased the former used car lot property at 490 Main St. (the .492 acre property on the northwest corner of Main and College streets) for $250,000. Signage is erected to market the site for business development.
•2019 – The city’s contract with the owners of Ace Hardware to develop the grassy site on the northeast corner of Main and Front streets expires.