Gahanna businesses and residents are excited about the last weekend's grand opening of the Creekside development.
Bryan Tyler moved his business, the Bread Basket Bakery, from Hamilton Road to Creekside to increase his exposure. The location has proved ideal, he said.
Residents are taking advantage of the 15-minute short-term parking on the north side of Mill Street, as well as the parking garage, where the first half-hour is free and the cost is $1 an hour after that.
"That is really benefiting us," Tyler said. "Our big concern was parking."
To get ready for the Creekside grand opening, the Bread Basket made 25 dozen muffins and croissants for the parks and recreation foundation gala.
Construction from the Creekside development had been a hindrance to Bicycle One, a bicycle shop on Mill Street in Old Gahanna, for the past two years. But owners are looking forward to the foot traffic the development will generate.
"We have new people who are not from the area," said manager Brett Reymond.
Prior to the grand opening, he said, employees reconfigured merchandise and purchased new signs, hoping to take advantage of the new traffic. During the grand opening, Bicycle One also raffled a new bicycle to bring in foot traffic, Reymond said.
Barbara Drobnick relocated her business, Honey Grove Botanicals Bath Boutique, from its previous location on Town Street to Mill Street. Business owners have worked together to coordinate special events for Valentine's Day and Mother's Day.
"We're a blended family," she said.
Drobnick said business has improved 80 percent since changing locations in mid-December. The store, which offers custom blend soap and bubble cakes, has been in Gahanna for 15 years.
cardSupply owner Jody Zitsman has been running her store out of office space at Easton for the past five years. Sales have been generated primarily through the company Web site, she said. But owners decided to open a new location in Creekside.
"The visibility is great," Zitsman said. "Gahanna does not have a stationary store."
The Shoppes of Portobello Row opened at Creekside in November. She wanted to take advantage of the location, owner Raquel Cunningham said.
"It is just a great place for foot traffic," she said. "(Creekside) has an old world climate. It goes along with our theme."
Candle Lab owner Steve Weaver was also enjoying the Creekside development. Owners worked two days straight to get the store open in time. Friday sales exceeded his expectations.
"There were so many people out," Weaver said.
He said people came to Creekside from all over central Ohio.
At the Candle Lab customers can purchase 110 varieties of candles or create their own custom blends, Weaver said.
Gahanna resident Dan Sheridan was enjoying Creekside on Sunday afternoon. He said he was pleased with the finished product.
"I think it looks great," he said. "It has a community kind of feeling."
Michaela Schuett, also of Gahanna, said she thinks Creekside is wonderful.
"It is beautiful," she said. "They did a great job with it. I think it will attract people."
Schuett and her husband like to eat out and drink wine, so Mezzo and The Wine Guy Wine Shop, which will open shortly, are most appealing.
"There are things like this in the Short North, but this is not so far away," she said.
Fourteen-year-old Kelsey Zelina said Creekside is a fun place for families, adding "I think it looks really good."
Pickerington resident Nathan Housemann said Creekside is really nice.
"I didn't know this was here an hour ago," he said.
Worthington resident Chichiro Shivayama said she was visiting friends at Cold Stone Creamery. After church, she headed out to lunch.
"We don't have stuff like this in Worthington," Shivayama said.
Gahanna resident Craig Younger said Creekside is going to be a great asset to Gahanna and will attract people to the city for different reasons than community events.
"I'm glad that they took advantage of the waterfront instead of focusing on the street," he said.
Younger said the condominiums associated with the project will be a nice addition.
"I wish I was at a point in life where I could live in a condo," he said.