As part of the plan to make way for a new Giant Eagle grocery store on the current site of Bexley City Hall, 2242 E. Main St., the city broke ground Aug. 5 on a new garage for the Service Department.
The new service garage will be located on Delmar Drive next to the Bexley Police Facility, 559 N. Cassingham Road.
The Service Department maintains all of the city's public infrastructure, including streets and alleys, traffic and pedestrian signals, and sanitary and storm sewers.
The new garage will take over an existing warehouse that was formerly used by the defunct furniture store Ci Bon Interiors.
The city is adding more space to accommodate vehicle maintenance, Service Director Bill Dorman said.
"Once complete, the new service facility will consist of 9,000 feet of garage space and almost 8,000 feet of office/ storage space," he said. "Several existing items, such as vehicle lifts, generators, fuel pumps, etc., will be repurposed in an effort to control costs."
Mayor Ben Kessler said the city chose the Delmar Drive location after looking at five potential sites.
"This site was chosen because of a drive-time analysis that showed it was one of the most efficient locations for our service employees among the alternate locations to access all areas of the city, its adjacency to the police station, the ability to use the warehouse space on-site as part of the project, the appropriate surrounding uses and zoning requirements, and the affordability of the site," Kessler said.
City estimates put the total cost of the service department garage relocation at $1.8 million, which will be funded by a bond package that Bexley City Council approved earlier this year, Kessler said.
"Bond payments will be funded, in turn, by a combination of ground rent at the Giant Eagle site and TIF (tax-increment financing) payments attributed to the redevelopment of the current City Hall site," he said.
The city's Board of Zoning and Architectural Review and the Planning Commission approved plans for the Delmar Drive site in April, and the Tree and Public Garden Commission approved the landscape plan for the new facility at its July meeting.
"Feedback has been very positive," Dorman said. "The site has been designed to reflect its industrial use while components of the existing police department -- signage, columns, fencing -- have been incorporated into the site plan to create a sense of campus along Delmar Drive."
Construction is expected to be completed and the Service Department is expected to occupy the new facility by mid- to late November, Dorman said.
Eventually, all of City Hall will be relocated as part of the new development. In addition to the service garage relocation, administrative offices will move to a space at the Bexley Square Shopping Center.