Groveport finances blooming

In an uncertain economy, finding tenants for the proposed Groveport Town Center in downtown Groveport has been tough, but Pizzuti Solutions informed the Village of Groveport that things might be looking up.

In a letter dated March 7 to the village, Rick Dilsavor, vice president of land and development for Pizzuti, wrote, "I am now pleased to report we have our first prospective restaurant anchor."

While the name of the restaurant could not be released due to ongoing discussions, Dilsavor did state, "…this is a casual sit down restaurant…that in my opinion would be a perfect fit for the project."

Plans for the Groveport Town Center, to be located at the northeast corner of Front and Main streets, call for a potential retail/office development that includes: two, 19th century style two story brick buildings with varied storefronts, one 200 feet long and the other 100 feet long, totaling 34,280 square feet; parking in the rear in the former Ohio and Erie Canal bed, as well as some spaces on Main Street, that would accommodate 146 vehicles; and a public space at the west end of the development.

Village and Pizzuti officials believe that obtaining a restaurant anchor for the site would energize the leasing of the additional small shop space in the development.

Groveport income tax revenues

Income tax revenue collections for the village for February were $662,029, up 18.6 percent over last year. For 2008, income tax collections are $2.6 million, which is $448,624 (or 20.1 percent) more than at this time in 2007. The income tax revenues for 2008 are also $15.5 percent above the projected revenue.

"Income tax revenue collections are doing very well this year," said Village Administrator Jon Crusey.

Schottenstein development

Groveport Village Council will hear second and third readings, on March 24 and April 14 respectively, on legislation regarding Schottenstein Trustees’ request to rezone 353 acres, located east of the intersection of Rohr and Pontius roads, from community commercial, rural, and planned residential multi-family apartments of six units per acre to planned industrial park. There will be a public hearing on the request on April 14 prior to the council meeting.

The plan calls for the construction of a 1.4 million square foot warehouse/distribution center near the intersection of Rohr and Pontius roads on land the Schottenstein Trustees have owned for more than 40 years. The proposed building would be situated diagonally on the site against the western most boundary of the property along Pontius Road abutting the Air East industrial park to the south.

Additionally outlined in the plan are:

•a 64.3 acre no build zone along the east side of Rohr Road running nearly the entire length of the property from the eastern most property line to a point a short distance east of the Pontius Road intersection (the rezoning would codify the no build zone into the actual legislation);

•a 104.7 acre conservation area between the proposed development and Little Walnut Creek to protect green space and the stream corridor (Schottenstein Trustees are in discussions to deed this conservation area over to Metro Parks);

•several landscape buffers sized and positioned to block or minimize any visibility of the proposed development from neighboring Newport Village, including a 20 foot high landscaped mound situated northeast of the building site; and

•a third of an acre reserve surrounding the historic Ohio and Erie Canal era structures located on the northwest corner of the property with the intentions of discussing how to preserve the buildings with the Groveport Heritage and Preservation Society (GHPS), which could include moving the buildings to another location with Schottenstein Trustees footing the bill or working with the GHPS to maintain the structures on their present site.

Plus, sometime in the future a 1.2 million square foot warehouse could be built nearby sometime in the future east of Little Walnut Creek.

Mike Shannon, attorney for Schottenstein Trustees, stated at the March 3 planning and zoning commission meeting that the 1.4 million square foot structure will be "designed as a state of the art building that will be more than just a warehouse. It can also be a labor intensive call center and office support for the distribution center."

Shannon said the building could employ between 400 to 600 workers.

Other development news

•Economic Development Director Jeff Green reported to council that marketing efforts are underway to find occupants for the 297,000 square foot former Radio Shack warehouse on Williams Road, the 241,000 square foot former Sofa Express facility on South Hamilton Road, and a 350,000 square foot facility on Greenpointe Drive recently vacated by Exel/Toys R’ Us.

•The Shelly Company was the low bidder at $816,631 for the Rohr Road widening project. Crusey noted the bid also came in below the engineer’s estimate of $1.014 million for the project. The project will involve widening Rohr Road to three lanes from Port Road to State Route 317. The project will be paid for by the combination of a grant from the Ohio Public Works Commission (OPWC), an OPWC loan, and contributions from Duke Realty and Opus.

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