Groveport Council approves more money for new Main Street buildings

By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Wert’s Grove building.

Groveport City Council approved an additional $1 million for constructing, furnishing, equipping, and improving the new Wert’s Grove and Rarey’s Port buildings on Main Street.

The additional money brings the city’s total not-to-exceed cost for finishing the buildings’ interiors to $2.2 million. Council took the action at a special meeting Sept. 15.

“This money is for the landlord’s (which is the city of Groveport) portion of the tenant build out of the buildings,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King, who added that inflation and rising equipment costs contributed to the need for increased funding.

King said the equipment includes things like standard kitchen items, such as sinks, hoods, walk-in coolers, etc., adding that the build out of the remaining 2,000 square feet of the Rarey’s Port building is also included in the funding.

The city is providing basic fixed equipment that will stay in the buildings in the event one of the tenants leaves.

Rarey’s Port building.

King said any other special equipment or decor items for the buildings are the responsibilities of the buildings’ tenants.

“Anything they do that makes the space their own,” said King.

“The city is not paying for interior design,” Groveport Development Director Jeff Green said earlier this year. “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.”

King said Construction One is expected to begin work on the buildings’ interiors by late September and the construction process could take 13 weeks with estimated completion by late December.

This would put the potential opening dates of the buildings at the end of 2022 or early 2023.

The two, new city owned buildings are part of the city of Groveport’s $8.5 million 1847 Main Project, which includes the 14,145 square foot Rarey’s Port (674 Main St.) building and the 12,184 square foot Wert’s Grove building (480 Main St.).

Delaney’s Diner – a breakfast, lunch, brunch restaurant – will occupy space in the Rarey’s Port building. Little Italy Pizza, which has operated at 619 Main St. for 43 years, plans to move into the Wert’s Grove building.

Little Italy will occupy the entire first floor of the Wert’s Grove building. Delaney’s Diner will occupy 4,958 square feet of the first floor of the Rarey’s Port building, or Units A-D on the west end of the building, including the patio.

In early September, Green said the city has “strong prospective” tenants lined up for the remaining first floor 2,059 square feet of the Rarey’s Port building.

As of early September, Green indicated there were no tenants lined up yet for the second floors of both buildings.

“The buildings were financed with a mixture of taxable and non-taxable bonds,” said Green. “Essentially non-taxable bonds are paying for the first floor retail space (which means income tax dollars cannot be used to repay the debt) and taxable bonds for the second floor space. Using taxable bonds means we have to declare the second floors of both buildings as government use.”

Green said the city’s first priority was to get the first floor spaces filled with restaurants and or retail businesses the community has desired.

“Once the first floor spaces are complete and the businesses have opened, we’ll be turning our attention to the second floor spaces and determining how best to use them,” said

Green. “Small business development and incubation is a strong possibility for at least one of the buildings.”

Once the buildings are set to open, city officials are planning for ribbon cutting events and will participate in any grand opening celebrations the businesses want to plan in their respective locations.

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