Grove City Record

City has 5 goals to redevelop Beulah

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

Redevelopment at Beulah Park requires a mixed-use, multi-year vision, said Grove City administrators.

The Grove City administration at the request of City Council has drafted a "conceptual framework" outlining goals and opportunities for the redevelopment of Beulah Park.

Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said the framework is a "broad outline" for what's to become of the site's 213 acres.

"It's a great starting point," Stage said. "It gives us an easy piece to share."

The framework, available on the city's website -- grovecityohio.gov -- identifies five goals to guide the redevelopment: highlight historic significance, serve as a community gathering place, promote connectivity, emphasize quality design and provide a net fiscal benefit to the city.

The document also lists other opportunities for the site including offering residential alternatives, diversifying the local economy with technology-based businesses, expanding educational opportunities with a learning center and providing a "gradual transition" between competing uses in the area.

Stage said the city has heard numerous comments about the need for open space and mixed use development.

"One of the major things is connectivity," he said. "This gives us that opportunity."

City Administrator Chuck Boso said the city wants to promote walkability, connectivity and commerce from areas west of Demorest Road to the Town Center as well as attract a diversity of people and increase density.

"It all fits together," he said.

Penn National Gaming Inc. announced plans in 2012 to relocate its racing license from Beulah Park, which has been located in Grove City for nearly a century, to a different site near Youngstown.

Since then, Boso said, the city's development department and administrators, along with feedback from Jamie Greene of the ACP Visioning + Planning firm, have been brainstorming different redevelopment possibilities, concepts and priorities for Beulah.

"It will have to be rezoned," Boso said.

Most of Beulah is zoned for recreational facilities, and Boso said it will have to be changed to some kind of mixed-use zoning, a process that will involve the Planning Commission, City Council and public notice.

The framework also notes that because of the scope and nature of any redevelopment, the process can be expected to take multiple years and phases.

"It's not going to be done in one or two years," Boso said.

The framework also said large retail and office space is not recommended. Regarding industrial use, the document cites light, small scale "flex space to allow smaller businesses to utilize space and expand as their needs mature." The framework notes that limited large scaled industrial use may be appropriate if located in the northern portion of the site near Southwest Boulevard and away from residential areas, but that industrial uses should have a "focus on clean manufacturing or tech based industries."

Ideally, Boso said, one developer would come in, secure the property and work with he administration, council and community to develop a comprehensive plan to implement.

"It will be a collaboration for all of us," he said.

Stage and Boso both said the city is open to numerous combinations of proposals

Stage said redevelopment at Beulah Park is "extremely important" for both the city and central Ohio.

"It's a major component of our future," he said.

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