The Canal Winchester Times

Wyler plans expansion at car dealership

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An $8-million expansion to Jeff Wyler Chevrolet is among the construction projects Canal Winchester Development Director Lucas Haire expects to see started this year.

Others include an addition to AK Athletics, continued work on the city's Tank Town project and improvements to the Winchester-Lithopolis Bridge.

Haire told council's finance committee Feb. 4 that Wyler wants to "get started on construction of a new dealership before the end of March."

He said the new dealership building will be a two-story structure of 54,000 square feet. It will be built to the south of the current building. The existing Corvette dealership building will be turned into a used car facility. Several outbuildings will be demolished, he said.

"This will be about an $8-million investment they hope to have completed by the beginning of 2014," Haire said.

The new AK Athletics addition will be the first new construction at the Canal Pointe Industrial Park since Manifold and Phalor moved its business there from Reynoldsburg in 2010, he said. The AK project will bring 10-12 new jobs to the city, according to Haire.

Public Works Director Matt Peoples told the finance committee that Franklin County is moving forward with work on the Winchester-Lithopolis Bridge that will continue throughout the year.

"In June, I believe, there will be a 30-day closure, but they're still finalizing the details," Peoples said. "Before and after that, there will be some lane closures. There's a lot of traffic that goes through there so we'll have to consider that."

In preparation for this road construction and the upcoming Tank Town project council approved a resolution temporarily suspending the ban on truck travel on Highland and Fairfield streets. The change takes effect immediately.

Peoples also announced that Darby Creek Excavating Inc. won the contract for the Tank Town project. Its bid of $1,745,210 was approximately $100,000 lower than the engineer's project estimate of $1.8 million.

In other business Feb. 4, Councilwoman Leah Turner said council needs to enact a demolition ordinance so the city can have a way to deal with abandoned or blighted properties, such as the Parker Marathon site.

"I want to again look at when a new business comes in and then if they go out of business, we should be able to demolish the building within a couple of years if it isn't getting filled," Turner said.

The conversation turned specifically to the Wendy's property adjacent to Route 33.

Law Director Gene Hollins said current properties in decline, such as the Wendy's, would have to be adjudicated through the county courts but said he would draft something to attempt to provide this flexibility in the future with new buildings.

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