By Rick Palsgrove
The Wert’s Grove and Rarey’s Port buildings on Groveport’s Main Street are expected to be completed and open in January.
“Both spaces are nearing completion,” said Groveport Development Director Jeff Green. “The remainder of Delaney’s kitchen equipment is expected to be delivered (at the end of December). If the interior flooring is complete, furniture should be installed by Jan. 6. Little Italy is a larger, more complex project, but at this time Construction One is still targeting a mid-January completion. Additional shifts, including weekends have been added to help meet construction targets.”
When asked when Delaney’s and Little Italy are expected to open for business in the new buildings, Green said, “Right now, (Delaney’s owner) Jeff Miller is anticipating a mid-January ‘soft opening.’ Little Italy hopefully (will open) by the end of January.”
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 on the west end of the building, including the patio. City officials are seeking tenants for the remaining 2,059 square feet of the Rarey’s Port building’s first floor.
Green said, “Supply chain issues that are resulting in delayed shipment of critical items like electric panels and light fixtures,” have contributed to the delayed pace of construction of the buildings.
According to Green, the city, in partnership with both businesses, does plan to hold grand opening celebrations for the buildings and businesses, however dates have not yet been set.
“Both celebrations will include ceremonial ribbon cutting and remarks by the mayor and the business owners,” said Green. “The businesses may have plans as well.”
City officials are also soliciting requests for qualifications for the engineering, designing, and estimating costs for the second floor spaces of both buildings.
“Although the final uses for these spaces has not been solidified, I feel it is in our best interest to get the legislative approval for the requests for qualifications completed,” said Groveport City Administrator B.J. King.
The city’s 2023 budget includes $1.1 million for the interior construction build out of the second floors of the Wert’s Grove and Rarey’s Port buildings ($550,000 for each).
“The second floors (of these buildings) were funded by tax revenue (i.e. income tax),” said King “That being the case, the spaces can’t be directly leased to for profit companies. The uses must be government (which is non-profit) or other non-profit organizations. The first floors were funded by non-tax revenue, so via the Community Investment Corporation, the spaces could be directly leased to for profit companies.”
Added Green, “At this time, the city is still considering options for the second floor spaces.”