Grove City Record

Town Center redevelopment

Grove City, library reach preliminary agreement

Move of City Hall may hit snag with Pizzuti unable to gain key properties


The city of Grove City and the public Library have agreed to a preliminary financial agreement over the redevelopment of the town center, but the developer is adjusting plans after being unable to acquire key private properties.

On Monday, Feb. 4, City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution supporting a "preliminary outline of the financial terms" that would guide negotiations between the city of Grove City and the library over the relocation of the library from its current location at 3359 Park St. and moving Grove City Hall to there from its current location at 4035 Broadway.

"What this does, is allow our city to negotiate with the other powers and see if this is a doable process," said Councilman Steve Bennett.

Under the terms of the outline, the city or the developer will "cause to be constructed" the new 48,000-square-foot library and be responsible for acquiring the land.

In return, the library will make a one-time payment as an upfront capital investment, pay a portion of the annual debt service and enter into a 30-year lease agreement for the City Hall site. At the end of the lease agreement period, the site will be deeded to the library.

Once the new library is built and occupied, the existing library site will be transferred to the city at no cost.

The amount the library will pay for the capital investment and debt service will be determined during negotiations, and both the city and library must agree on the location of the new library.

The initial development plan, submitted by the Pizzuti Companies and approved by council last year, would move the library to the intersection of Broadway and Grant Avenue.

Other aspects of the approved plan call for turning the existing City Hall building into commercial office and restaurant space, and constructing four multi-family residential buildings at Broadway and Columbus Street.

However, according to a letter dated Feb. 4, from Shannon Hamons, Pizzuti's Columbus region vice president, the company has been unable to complete a land purchase "critical to the execution of the Town Center redevelopment" approved by council.

Hamons said they were unable to acquire needed properties at the intersection of Broadway and Columbus where the multi-family residential buildings would go.

Pizzuti is looking at several large parcels in the town center, both city and privately owned, and talking with those property owners, Hamons added.

"We're working very diligently," he said. "We haven't finalized it."

Hamons said the company is optimistic it will have a "rough" preliminary plan by the end of February.

"We're committed to doing a project in Grove City," he said. "We still believe the market is a good one, and the town center is inviting."

City Administrator Chuck Boso said the process will be the same as before and require council action.

"We're still optimistic we'll have a project," he said