By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport city officials are winding up the planning phases for the construction of two mixed use commercial buildings on Main Street.
The city of Groveport’s 2021 budget includes the creation of two construction funds of $3 million each to be used for two new, two-story brick, mixed-use buildings: one to be built at the northeast corner of Front and Main streets next to Ace Hardware (674-716 Main St. and known as the Rarey’s Port building); and the second at the northwest corner of College and Main streets (480-490 Main St. and known as the Wert’s Grove building). The city is the developer for both sites.
On Feb. 8, council approved the final plat and development plan for the 480-490 Main St. Wert’s Grove building property.
Assistant City Administrator and Development Director Jeff Green said the projected timeline for prospective tenants for the two buildings is late-spring/early summer of 2021. He said the buildings address the community’s desire for new space in the historic downtown suitable for restaurants, retail, and other commercial development.
Wert’s Grove building update
The Wert’s Grove building will be about 12,184 square feet. The first floor will have five separate storefronts with the interior space divisible according to space requirements for potential new businesses. Second floor space for now will be open.
Parking for 52 vehicles will be in the rear of the building, accessible by Raver Alley to the west and Hickory Alley to the north. Three more parking spaces will be along Main Street in front of the building. There will be no access to the site from Main Street or College Street. Hickory Alley will remain one way westbound. Raver Alley will be reconstructed and widened to accommodate two way traffic.
According to Groveport City Engineer Steve Farst, a recent traffic study of the 480-490 Main St. area, including the intersections of Main and College streets, Main Street and Raver Alley, and College Street at Hickory Alley. The study suggested that, at some point in the future, the city lengthen and re-stripe the westbound right turn lane on Main Street.
Rarey’s Port building update
The Rarey’s Port building is tentatively planned to be 14,145 square feet, with 7,017 square feet of space on the first floor and 7,128 square feet on the second floor. The second floor space will be open for now and the first floor have six individual storefronts facing Main Street and the interior space divisible as required. Parking will be in the city’s 92 space municipal lot behind the building and near Ace Hardware. Patio space is planned for both buildings.
Council approved legislation on Dec. 21 modifying the existing development plan for the 674-716 Main St. site.
Design and financing
Green said the buildings’ designs are modeled on existing 19th and early 20th century business buildings and homes along Main Street.
“The buildings will not have a strip mall look. They will be full brick and organic to the city’s historic downtown,” said Green.
The estimated cost for the two structures combined will be approximately $6 million.
Groveport Finance Director Jason Carr said money for the two $3 million construction funds for the two buildings in the 2021 budget will be funded by general obligation bonds. These are bonds from the bond market and are not property tax bond issues that would be voted on by the residents.