Will Lucky's 'energy' spur business renaissance?

After grocer's announcement, CAC members hope other developers will follow suit


The chairman of the Clintonville Area Commission's planning and development committee hopes a Colorado-based natural-foods grocer's plans to open a store at 2784 N. High St. by mid-October is a sign of good things to come.

To that end, Andrew Overbeck announced last week that the next meeting of the panel will include a review of "key development/infill sites" in the neighborhood.

The meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 29, at Clinton Heights Lutheran Church, 15 Clinton Heights Ave.

"We just wanted to have a discussion as to where do we think energy could be placed and what could be done, what would it take to start getting things to happen," Overbeck said.

His hope, he added, is that other retailers, such as Lucky's Farmers Market of Boulder, Colo., will take a look at Clintonville for possible expansion.

Owned by former child actor Bo Sharon, the natural-food operation is in line for an expansion into a six-store chain in other college cities, with the former Goodwill thrift store across from Giant Eagle as the first new location.

"We can't control what comes into a space ... but that makes both retailers and developers kind of look at a neighborhood," Overbeck said. "I'm kind of hopeful that there's a more favorable climate."

Overbeck was appointed to head the planning and development committee by CAC Chairman Dan Miller in August. The panel first met in September and spent most of the fall "getting to know one another" as well as hearing from city officials on details of the Clintonville Plan and the urban commercial overlay for parts of the neighborhood, Overbeck said.

"Now we're looking ahead," he said. "What are the next things we would like to see?"

The agenda for the Jan. 29 meeting also calls for discussing "challenges/opportunities," then tackling the idea of infill locations for development and finally identifying potential action steps that should be taken.

One potential development site bound to come up for discussion at the meeting is the former Clintonville Electric property near the intersection of North High Street and North Broadway, Overbeck said.

He described the upcoming meeting as "more of a brainstorming session," as he and the others on the panel move toward developing a report for the commission.

"It'll be several months where we get to a place where we've kind of validated some work," Overbeck said. "Hopefully by summertime we're taking some things forward to taking something to the commission."