Grove City, OH 43123
Hours: M-F 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
1987 Town Center Plan
In March of 1987 the first Town Center Plan was completed and set forth an action plan to revitalize downtown Grove City. The project was sponsored by the Franklin County Commissioners and administered by the Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission and funded by a Federal Community Development Block Grant.
As part of this plan the City together with their consultant looked at the issues surrounding the revitalization of the Town Center and set forth an aggressive implementation framework which included:
Organize A Non-profit Sponsor
Organize a non-profit sponsor to establish the focus and scope of the renovation work to be supported by grants, establish guidelines for applications to follow in planning qualified renovations and to assist the City in implementing a marketing program for the Town Center. As stated within the 1987 Plan, it would be the intent that this not for profit sponsor would become the Town Center Merchants' Association. A dues structure is suggested.
Create a Town Center Restoration District
The City of Grove City should assist in formulating the non-profit sponsor and should revise Chapter 1138 of the Zoning Code of the City, identifying a Town Center district within the Historical Preservation Area (HPA). The ordinance should include guidelines or criteria for appropriateness of storefront or facade restoration work.
Proceed With Building Facade Renovations
It was identified that one of the single, most important element among the privately-financed proposals of the Town Center redevelopment plan is building and storefront faÃ§ade renovation.
Finalize A Plan For Parking Lot Improvements
The City should determine the scope of municipal parking improvements which will be implemented by the city's own initiative. Analysis and determination of methods of funding these improvements should be completed. Cooperative efforts on the part of property owners should be sought, and the City should seek easements to preserve public parking rights where property owners may agree to ignore property lines to achieve greater efficiency in parking lot layout.
Finalize Plans For The Restoration Of Broadway
This project involves the removal of asphalt on Broadway from Cleveland Avenue on the north to Civic Drive on the south. It also includes provision for concrete transition paving, implementation of the general sidewalk landscaping plan, and new street lighting. This project is considered to be the primary public improvement in creating the new image of Grove City. Final design and engineering drawings should be completed and the project should be scheduled for early implementation.
Revise Zoning Regulations
In addition to the Restoration District ordinance revision which has been suggested, the City of Grove City should review existing signage, parking, and land use regulations as they apply to the Town Center plan and its recommendations.
Proceed With Plans For The New Municipal Building
This project is considered very important, as it would provide the first new building for the Grove City Town Center, and an opportunity to initiate the proposed parking and sidewalk landscaping improvements. The project would also have positive impact upon the proposal concerning the implementation of new retail development to the south of Park Street.
Prepare A Marketing Plan For The Town Center
Through its economic development officer, the City should initiate the preparation of a marketing plan for the Grove City Town Center. Among the key components of this plan would be the following:
- Coordination of private voluntary efforts and assistance to merchants seeking relocation in accordance with the merchandising adjacency concepts of the Town Center Plan
- Assistance to the Town Center non-profit sponsor to expand into a merchants' association of sufficient size to undertake joint advertising, to plan seasonal promotions, and to sponsor special programs designed to increase the community's of the Town Center as a place to shop. Focus of attention would include coordinating signage and graphic design, sales, and sidewalk or special event retailing
- Identification and solicitation of retailers of merchandise lines which must be secured to achieve the recommended business mix for the Town Center
- Assistance to property owners and merchants in ways helpful to them, in securing financing for renovations, voluntary relocation, or business expansions. This will involve cooperative promotion with local banks and the preparation of sample financial pro-formas illustrating base-line levels of investment feasibility
- Determining the need for, and scope of, any incentives considered necessary or desirable to secure the interest of developers, merchants, or property owners in implementing the Grove City plan
Provide For Property Tax Abatement
It is strongly recommended that a program of property tax abatement be initiated throughout the entire Historical Preservation Area (HPA). The program should be based upon a fifteen year time frame. The program, should provide incentive for conversion of existing retail or business uses in residential buildings, back to residential use. It is also recommended that tax increases normally associated with improvement or renovations be abated for all residential properties in residential use.
Take A Practical Approach In Planning Larger Term Improvements
There are many additional improvements which would enhance the Town Center. Some of these, however, are quite costly in relation to their anticipated "payback" in benefits. Two such improvements should be mentioned here as more appropriate for consideration in future years:
- Relocation of overhead electrical lines within the Town Center would cost approximately $240,000. While this improvement would be desirable, the proposed tree planting configuration and other streetscape improvements would have more initial impact.
- The potential for planning a new road, "swinging" in the form of a large curve from the London-Groveport interchange at I-71, westerly and northerly to become Broadway, in the vicinity of Orders Road, would greatly improve Town Center access. Such a road would more appropriately be planned, however as development takes place south of the City.
While many of these action items have been implemented, in 2007 City Council identified a need and desire to revisit and complete a new plan to build upon the accomplishments of the original plan as well as to address the current and future needs of the Town Center.
Currently, the City in cooperation with Lincoln Street Studio is working on a new Town Center Plan which is to provide a 20-year strategic road map based on good public policy and is to be designed, organized and implemented to be a flexible document, enabling it to respond in a proactive manner to the changing needs of the Town Center. This plan will be the result of a consensus building process and will address current and future needs; assess connectivity of City buildings; analyze the impacts of surrounding developments; and establish policy guidelines to maintain the character and enhance the economic vitality of this niche market as well as to develop and implement land use and economic development policies and objectives for the Town Center.