By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport residents can express their opinions on the future development of the city’s downtown and Main Street in an online survey this summer.
“The survey seeks to know what types of businesses respondents want to see in the downtown and the likelihood of their patronage for specific types of retail and dining establishments,” said Groveport Assistant Administrator and Finance Director Jeff Green.
The new online survey will be available to respondents from July 30 to Aug. 13 at www.surveymonkey.com/r/groveport-oh.
The city will mail a postcard soon to all residents with information about the survey. No paper copies of the survey will be available.
“The survey will only be available online,” said Green, who added the survey takes about five minutes to complete.
Additionally, the Groveport Community Improvement Corporation (CIC) will conduct a local market analysis, plus research the development of marketing and business recruitment strategies and branding for the city’s downtown. The CIC is working with Downtown Professionals Network of Franklin, Tenn. According to city officials, this local retail market analysis, which the survey is part of, will cost $11,200.
According to Green, the online survey results are expected to be available to the CIC by Aug. 17.
“However, the results won’t be available to the public until sometime in September,” said Green. “The survey results will be used to help shape the next step after the market analysis: the development of marketing strategies for business recruitment.”
A shorter, paper, pre-survey was also available at a city booth at Groveport’s Fourth of July celebration and it drew 208 responses. Of these responses, 93 people live in Groveport, 92 live outside the city but within 10 miles, and 23 live more than 10 miles from town.
The top five types of restaurants or drinking establishments these responders prefer are (they could select up to three): ice cream/sweet shop, 37 percent; coffee shop, 30 percent; casual dining restaurant, 29 percent; steakhouse/seafood restaurant, 25 percent; and bakery, 23 percent.
The top five types of retailers these responders prefer are (they could select up to three): arts, crafts, hobbies, 34 percent; sporting goods, 32 percent; bookstore, 32 percent; variety store, 31 percent; children’s clothing, 26 percent.
Council viewpoints on survey
Prior to this new survey, the city’s last market study was done in 2003, with an update in 2011. The 2003 study cost the city $3,620 and the 2011 update cost $8,200.
Groveport City Council members were asked what information this new survey could reveal that was not evident in the past studies and what direction the city should pursue regarding future development:
Shawn Cleary: “We need more downtown development and it’s time to do something about it. We have done a lot of surveys and studies, but we need someone to step up and make a commitment. The city can help where we can. I expect this new survey to give us similar results as the past surveys regarding residents’ thoughts on what they want to see downtown. It’s just a matter of making it happen and pushing forward.”
Ed Dildine: “This survey serves as a tool for future growth and development. It will give us insights on what type of development our residents, corporate partners, and visitors to our city would like to see us pursue. The information will give us a better way to market and we can direct market those type of businesses. It’s a way to get everyone involved in our future.”
Chad Grashel: “I’m hopeful there is an appetite for continuing the growth of local, small business in the downtown area. A robust downtown would be an attractive way to provide residents more easily accessible options to goods, services, and entertainment, as well as further strengthening the character and health of our city.”
Jean Ann Hilbert: “This new survey should allow us to learn the desires of our community, the changes in our demographics, and be used as a marketing tool.”
Becky Hutson: “Updated surveys and studies provide us with information that we may overlook. Balance is the key. Our city has many great amenities we just need to fill a few needs. Some updated residential locations are needed, some retail places help fill needs of residents and we have longed for a place to have meatloaf or breakfast. We’re headed in the right direction. We need people to invest in our city. It’s time for us to market ourselves, be aggressive, and find what we want and the people to invest in us. We have a lot to offer.”
Scott Lockett: “If the survey reflects what I’ve heard in recent conversations, the responses will likely indicate a desire for the development of our downtown. Residents feel there is a need for restaurants and other businesses to bring people into town. I couldn’t agree more. Future development efforts should focus on retaining existing businesses and recruiting other business which would be of interest to our community.”