By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport residents are watching to see what will develop on a nearly half acre site on the northwest corner of Main and College streets.
Earlier this year, the city of Groveport purchased the property, located at 490 Main St., which previously was the home of Stebe’s Sales Inc., a used car business that operated there for many years. 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 earlier this year. “This will allow the city to control the site’s future use and the types of development that can occur there.”
When asked if there any development plans in the works for the site yet, Groveport Finance Director and Assistant Administrator Jeff Green said, “There is a desire to develop the site for some type of retail or restaurant, but there is nothing definite in the works at the present time.”
Also, when asked if the city is interested in purchasing the adjacent lot to the west that has a house on it, and if having that lot would make the overall site more marketable for development, Green replied, “No. While it could possibly make the site more marketable, the city would prefer to leave the possible purchase of the adjacent property to a developer.”
Last summer, the city conducted an online survey and contracted for a market
study to explore ways to bring business development to town. When asked what kind of information in the survey and study could be used to specifically help market and develop this former used car lot site, Green said, “One of the suggestions from the study that the city is interested in pursuing is to issue a Request For Proposals for the development of the property. For now, as soon as the site is cleared, the plan is to erect a sign to begin marketing the site as available for development.”
Alleys border the site to the west and north. When asked if the alleys could be upgraded with new pavement and drainage improvements in anticipation of new development, Green said, “It depends on the development, but some improvements would be likely.”
A 324 square foot building currently sits on the site. The site is also paved in asphalt and has a cable and pillar fence surrounding it.
“The current owner has until Dec.31 to vacate the property,” said Green. “At that time, dependent on the weather, the city plans to immediately begin work to remove the small structure, along with the sign, pillars and asphalt.”
Green said city of Groveport workers will demolish the building and remove the sign, pillars, and asphalt. After the building and asphalt are removed, grass will be planted on the site as soon as weather permits.
Green said there are no plans to make the site a parking lot. Additionally, Green said there are no plans to turn the site into a small park.
When asked if the city would consider using the site for things like the farmers’ market or other city events, Green said, “This is still under discussion. Any use other than permanent development would obviously be temporary.”