By Rick Palsgrove
The city of Groveport has taken possession of the former used car lot at Main and College streets and city officials are considering what to do with the site.
The city purchased the property, located at 490 Main St., which previously was the home of Stebe’s Sales Inc., a used car business that operated on there for many years.
In April, Groveport City Council approved contracting to buy the .492 acre property for $250,000 from Kenneth E. Stebelton.
“This is a primary property in the city’s downtown,” said Groveport City Administrator Marsha Hall. “This will allow the city to control the site’s future use and the types of development that can occur there.”
Hall said that the car lot owner had until Dec. 31 to remove all the vehicles from the site and, as of late July, no cars remained on the site.
A 324 square foot building currently sits on the site and Hall said the city plans to demolish the structure sometime this fall. She said a decision on when to remove the existing asphalt is still to be determined. After the asphalt is removed, Hall said the city’s current expectation is to seed the property in grass for the time being.
Hall said development plans for the site are still to be determined, but added that the site is included in the city’s current online development survey that seeks to find out how residents would like to see the city’s downtown develop.
When asked what challenges the property presents for development since it is bordered by businesses across the street as well as residences on three sides and a historic church on the fourth side, Hall said, “About the same as other (potential) development located at Main Street intersections.”
Additionally, when asked if it is possible the site could be used in the short term as a parking lot or a small “pocket” city park until it is developed, Hall said, “We will be bringing staff’s recommendations to city council.”
Council will review these recommendations at its committee of the whole meeting on Aug. 20 at 5:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.