When will Groveport’s two new Main Street buildings open?

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By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport Editor

Messenger photos by Rick Palsgrove
The Wert’s Grove building, located at Main and College streets.

Groveport’s two new Main Street buildings are expected to open by the end of 2022 or early 2023.

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.

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.

The Rarey’s Port building, located on Main Street near its intersection with Wirt Road.

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, or Units A-D on the west end of the building, including the patio.

“At this point it appears as though both the Delaney’s and Little Italy projects should be complete around the same time, toward the end of the year or first part of 2023,” said Groveport Development Director Jeff Green. “We have strong prospective tenants lined up for the remaining 2,059 square feet of the Rarey’s Port building and look forward to announcing the names of the businesses soon. We are currently negotiating the leases with the owner of both businesses.”

Image courtesy of Little Italy Pizza & MA Design
A rendering of the look of the proposed interior design of the new Little Italy space in the Wert’s Grove building.

When asked what is causing any delays in the completion of the buildings, Green said, “Mostly design. Architectural and engineering schedules. Architectural and engineering firms are extraordinarily busy right now and, unfortunately, these are not their only projects. At various times in the design process, we experienced long delays getting CAD drawings and mechanical, electrical and plumbing plans turned around. Most of this is just a product of the current building environment.”

Green said it is important for residents to understand that supply chain issues and long delivery lead times of certain products can still affect the completion schedule once construction commences.

“Contractors are looking for alternates that can offer quicker delivery time, so hopefully any further delays will be minimized.,” said Green. “Most of the kitchen equipment has already delivered to the Wasserstrom warehouse and is awaiting to delivery to the two sites. Both tenants have already ordered their furniture and specialized equipment not included with the spaces.”

As of now there are no tenants lined up for the second floors of both buildings.

“The buildings were financed with a mixture of taxable and non-taxable bonds,” said Green. “Essentially non-taxable bonds are paying for the first floor retail space (which means income tax dollars cannot be used to repay the debt) and taxable bonds for the second floor space. Using taxable bonds means we have to declare the second floors of both buildings as government use.”

Green said the city’s first priority was to get the first floor spaces filled with restaurants and or retail businesses the community has desired.

“Once the first floor spaces are complete and the businesses have opened, we’ll be turning our attention to the second floor spaces and determining how best to use them,” said Green. “Small business development and incubation is a strong possibility for at least one of the buildings.”

Once the buildings are open city officials are planning for ribbon cutting events and will participate in any grand opening celebrations the businesses want to plan in their respective locations.

The two new buildings are spurring new interest in Groveport’s historic downtown.

“We are already seeing increased interest in further development of the downtown,” said Green. “It’s still to early to talk about specifics, but parking is one issue that, if solutions can be found to provide additional parking it should result in further retail and commercial development.”

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