The Canal Winchester Times


Lack of bids delays start of Town Center project


A lack of construction bids has delayed the groundbreaking for a new shopping and parking complex in downtown Groveport.

City officials are in the process of releasing a new bid request after the first attempt resulted in only one bid for a total cost of $1,043,326.

The city engineer originally estimated the project cost at $865,000.

"I'm sorry to report that the bid opening for this project was unsuccessful," City Administrator Marsha Hall said. "Of the eight plans sold, we only received one bid.

"We are contacting the other contractors to determine why they didn't bid, and then we will meet with the business owner to figure out a new plan of action," she said.

According to Hall, city officials believe that altering the schedule to shift parts of the work from this fall to next spring, as well as finding a different solution for materials sourcing, should result in a successful second round of bidding.

"We've met with the engineers and are preparing a new schedule with what might be done in the fall versus the spring, as well as looking at some fill-dirt issues," Hall said.

The Town Center project was approved in April as a public-private partnership with developer Rick Foreman, who wants to open his third Ace Hardware as the anchor tenant in the development.

Originally, Foreman hoped to break ground by July 1 on the Ace Hardware building, but the unsuccessful bid for site preparation and a development construction contractor has pushed that back. The city still hopes to meet the original goal of completing the development next spring.

In the meantime, Groveport City Council continues to pass legislation related to the project in anticipation of beginning work soon. At the July 22 council meeting, an easement was granted to American Electric Power to complete the relocation of electric service for the site.

Once the development is finished, it will include public parking, a 10,000-square-foot Ace Hardware store and a 7,200-square-foot, multitenant, mixed-use building that city officials estimate could bring 50 new jobs to Groveport.