Grove City Record

Open house

Pizzuti plans for City Hall site garner mixed response

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There is support among residents for some kind of redevelopment in Grove City's historic town center but also disagreement about whether the current proposal is the correct way to go.

The Pizzuti Companies, the developer proposing a plan to build commercial and residential property on the current site of City Hall, 4035 Broadway, held a public open house June 5 at City Hall for residents, business owners and other stakeholders to learn more about the plan.

There was no formal presentation. Copies of the proposed concept were displayed, along with examples of other Pizzuti projects, and representatives from the company were on hand to answer questions.

Currently, the plan calls for 157 residential units and 9,100 square feet of retail space.

Responses to the project by attendees varied.

"I think they should move forward with it," resident Katie Sponseller said. "Development brings people ... (and) they're proposing a historic look. I think it sounds good."

Resident Kathleen Edwards said the proposed plan has too much of a residential component.

"I don't think it's a good use of the total space," she said. "I'd like to see more of a commercial-residential marriage."

Edwards said she's also concerned about the town center's cohesiveness, especially with nearby Beulah Park up for sale.

"Our city needs to attract younger people to the town center, and I don't think this does that," Edwards said. "They have such a treasure here they can do something special with, and I don't think this is special. It's kind of shortsighted."

Don Rings said he would hate to see a perfectly good building such as City Hall torn down.

"But I can see their point," he said. "It would be better to do a unified presentation (downtown)."

Rings added he would like to have the numbers and figures to know if the money the project would generate could justify moving forward.

Susan Shaltry of Quick Square Consulting, located in the town center, said her business is concerned about there being enough parking.

"It could be a little dicey," she said. "We can see it being an issue."

Dave Grossman said he found the open house interesting and informative, but he does not have a conclusion about the project yet.

Shannon Hamons, Pizzuti's vice president of the Columbus region, said the company is in the processing of refining its proposed concept, based on the feedback it has received. The company, he said, is looking to increase parking as well as decrease the number of residential units.

Currently, Pizzuti is working on developing on the project's exterior look.

"Our goal is to get something back to council by the end of June or early July," he said. "We're trying to make it look like it wasn't plopped in."

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