Grove City Record

Businesses fret parking impact of Town Center plan

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Carol Alberts said the possibility of 157 new residential units next to her business sounds like it could be wonderful.

"That's a great concept. But those aren't the people who built our business," she said.

Alberts is co-owner of the Garden Cafe on Broadway, located at 4057 Broadway, and like other businesses in Grove City's Town Center, the Garden Cafe utilizes public parking available behind City Hall, 4035 Broadway, the site where the Pizzuti Cos. has proposed to build 157 residential units and 9,100 square feet of retail space.

One restaurant, Jimmy V's Grill & Pub, has committed to locate in the project.

Alberts said she's concerned about where her employees and current customers are going to park.

"All the rest of those cars will be pushed out into the rest of the downtown," she said. "We have a lot of people who drive here."

The current proposal calls for 216 total parking spaces, 58 on-street and 158 off-street, as well as 0.31 acres for a park and 0.37 acres for a village green.

"I think it's a nice idea we're bringing more business to the historic district, but my concern is parking," said Terry Schmelmer, owner of Total Platinum Salon, 4063 Broadway. "They're going to be taking from the businesses that are already down here ... We count on that public parking lot."

Schmelmer said she could lose stylists if their clients don't have a place to park. The development could reduce some of its green space to create more parking, Schmelmer added.

"I'm happy to see the business come down here," she said. "You just have to be able to accommodate the businesses already here."

Sue Baisden, co-owner of Capital City Cakes, 4009 Broadway, said many of her customers drive but added that most their business occurs in the evening when families are home.

"If we can get more people in the town center, that's fine," Baisden said. "This side of town is kind of forgotten with everything going on with Stringtown Road."

Parking, Baisden said, can be addressed.

"I imagine they could probably put another parking lot somewhere," she said.

City Administrator Chuck Boso said there have been many discussions over the years about parking.

"We're always interested in acquiring more public parking," he said.

Boso said parking is among the items the city is talking about with Pizzuti during the development process.

"I think we all want the same thing, and I think we'll get there," he said.

That's something Alberts is hoping for.

"(The city and Pizzuti) have the opportunity to prevent that (problem) by being proactive instead of reactive," she said. "I hope they do that."

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