Grove City Record

Council approves Pizzuti plan for City Hall

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Computer rendering from the Pizzuti Cos. of the planned Town Center renovations, at Park Street and Broadway, with a repurposed City Hall building at left center and new apartment buildings behind it.
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The Pizzuti Cos. last week received support from Grove City Council to further pursue its proposed Town Center redevelopment plan.

Council unanimously passed a resolution Sept. 3, supporting a proposal by Pizzuti to repurpose the City Hall building at 4035 Broadway for restaurant and office space and add four, three-story, multifamily buildings on the site that would house 120 one- and two-bedroom apartments.

Pizzuti's original proposal last year called for 170 units and knocking down the City Hall building; earlier this year ear, Pizzuti suggested 154 units.

The project encompasses about 4.5 acres. In addition to the apartments, the plan calls for about 14,200 square feet of commercial space: 3,900 square feet of restaurant, 3,200 square feet for apartment amenities, 7,100 square feet for offices and 170 on-sire private parking spaces.

The apartments are being built atop existing public parking behind City Hall. Pizzuti officials said of the existing 206 public parking spaces, 205 will be retained at the Town Center, though at different locations.

Pizzuti officials said the project is intended to attract young professionals and empty-nesters.

"We have got a lot of excitement from young professionals," said Shannon Hamons, Pizzuti vice president of the Columbus region. "We hope and believe strongly the people we attract will contribute to the Town Center experience."

The city administration and Pizzuti will now begin negotiations for an economic development agreement to present to council later this fall. Issues to be worked out include what the company will pay the city for the City Hall building and land.

Pizzuti officials have said they will not seek a tax abatement. City Administrator Chuck Boso said the city and developer are in talks about establishing a tax-increment finance (TIF) district or payments in lieu of taxes that Pizzuti would make that would be used to make public improvements, such as parking.

That agreement will be reviewed by council at a later date.

Grove City Councilman Jeff Davis praised Pizzuti for keeping its plan "fluid and responsive" to city concerns.

"I see other (cities) and what they're doing," Davis said. "Our future in this part of town is very bright."

Councilwoman Maria Klemack-McGraw said this is an "exciting time" in the community.

In other action Sept. 3:

* Council authorized the purchase of a house at 3402 Civic Place for $225,000 to make way for additional parking in the Town Center. Boso said the property's last appraisal in November 2010 came in $148,000.

Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said the seller -- Jean Tennihill, according to the Franklin County Auditor's Office -- previously turned down a $175,000 offer.

Stage said that piece of land is needed to help properly configure two other vacant and adjacent parcels for parking, replacing what will be lost to the new apartment buildings.

The city owns the property but will lease it to the previous owner for another six months before demolishing the building, according to the agreement. Engineering and demolition work is expected to cost about $160,000.

* Council voted to create a five-person historical commission to replace the city's department of history and to spend $5,000 from the general fund to support the commission's mission of collecting, preserving and displaying artifacts and materials of historic value to the community.

* Council authorized a permit for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to solicit charitable contributions. The organization will collect donations from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 12, at the intersection of Stringtown Road and Parkway Centre Drive.

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