By Rick Palsgrove
The names of the first three businesses that will occupy the two, large new buildings to be built on Groveport’s Main Street were announced on June 14.
“We have some top notch businesses coming in here,” said Groveport Economic Development Director Jeff Green.
“A lot of good things are happening,” added Mayor Lance Westcamp.
The businesses are:
•Delaney’s Diner – a breakfast, lunch, brunch restaurant open 6:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Monday-Friday and 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. Delaney’s Diner will occupy 4,000 square feet of space with a patio on the west end of the Rarey’s Port building, 674 Main St. Delaney’s has two other locations in Westerville and Reynoldsburg.
•Preston’s: A Burger Joint and Honey’s Fried Chicken – According to Green, the burgers are cooked in a “smashed” style and cooked and served to the customer’s liking. Preston’s currently has a space in the North Market and will soon open a space in the new Columbus Crew stadium downtown. Preston’s: A Burger Joint and Honey’s Fried Chicken will occupy a little under 3,000 square feet on the west end of the Wert’s Grove building, 480 Main St.
•Mmelo Confectionary & Café – Green said Mmelo specializes in high-end chocolates and confections as well as breads and pastries. The café will offer a full lunch and dinner menu with made to order specialties, coffee and espresso. Customers will be able to watch the chocolates being made in the rear of the shop and café. They currently have a café at Polaris in the Chase Bank building. Mmelo Confectionary & Café will occupy around 2,300 square feet, plus patio, on the east end of the Wert’s Grove building, 480 Main St.
“Neither Preston’s nor Mmelo will feature a bar, but both plan to offer a selection of wines, beers and (at Preston’s) pre-mixed specialty cocktails,” said Green.
The Groveport Community Improvement Corporation approved the three leases on June 2. According to Green, all the leases are for 10 years, starting at $14 per square foot, increasing at the end of two years and then yearly through the end of the lease term.
“These businesses are a great fit for the downtown, and really, the community in general, because they’ll add additional dining options, with Delaney’s being the only restaurant in town besides Waffle House to offer breakfast (all day),” said Green. “The locations are convenient to the community and to workers in the warehouses. They’re also fairly low-key and aren’t likely to create noise and other issues for residential neighbors in the downtown.”
When asked how many total businesses can fit into the Rarey’s Port building and the Wert’s Grove building and when is it expected these remaining spaces will be filled, Green said, “Rarey’s Port is divisible into six spaces/storefronts, each around 1,000 square feet. Delaney’s will occupy four of them which leave one space remaining that is 2,059 square feet. Our goal is to attract a retail tenant. Wert’s Grove is divisible into five spaces/storefronts, each around 1,100 square feet. Preston’s/Honey’s will occupy three of the spaces and Mmelo will occupy two.”
About the 1847 Main project
The Rarey’s Port and Wert’s Grove buildings are a project known as The 1847 Main Project and the city of Groveport is the developer for both sites.
Green said construction on the 14,145 square foot Rarey’s Port building, to be located the northeast corner of Front and Main streets next to Ace Hardware (674 Main St.), is set to begin the last week of July with completion expected by late March 2022. Construction of the 12,184 square foot Wert’s Grove building, to be located at the northwest corner of College and Main streets (480 Main St.), will start in August with completion expected by April 2022.
“We will be holding a formal groundbreaking for the 1847 Main project on July 27,” said Green. “Construction will begin on the Rarey’s Port building on July 28 and Aug. 12 for the Wert’s Grove building.”
The two new buildings will be two-story brick, mixed-use commercial buildings.
The cost to construct the two 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.