Grove City is contributing a loan to a project to renovate a vacant Town Center building.

Grove City is contributing a loan to a project to renovate a vacant Town Center building.

On Monday, June 2, Grove City Council unanimously approved a loan of $200,000 to MKOB Properties LLC, owned by Matt and Kristin Yerkes. The loan is part of the Grove City Town Center Loan Program, which was created in 2010 to stimulate job creation and revitalize under-utilized properties in downtown Grove City.

Matt Yerkes, owner of Quick Square Consulting and Venue 62 at 3995 Broadway, plans to purchase and renovate the former Grove City Hardware Store, 3989 Broadway, which has been vacant for a number of years.

Once renovated, according to a Grove City Town Center Loan Program credit memo, the plan is to lease the first floor of the building to a restaurant while creating a group of small offices on the second floor. The building has 8,200 square feet of space.

The city in April approved for the project a grant of $60,000, to paid in three annual installments.

According to the new ordinance council passed, the loan will have a term of 20 years and an interest rate of 3 percent. The approval came with two stipulations recommended by the Town Center Loan Review Committee:

• Yerkes must maintain a life insurance policy that at least equals the amount of all the loans in the application, and;

• A lien must be placed on his personal property until the city's building division issues an occupancy permit for the former hardware store building.

The ordinance passed as an emergency measure, meaning it goes into effect immediately instead of having to wait 30 days.

"It would help us greatly to get this project going, bring in jobs and improve this part of the Town Center," Yerkes said.

In an email to the city, Yerkes said he would like to begin renovating the building immediately and that the seller wants to close on the deal as soon as possible.

"We've already begun the architectural process," Yerkes said after the June 2 meeting. "We're just anxious to get started working on this."

Yerkes said he expects the sale to close by late June, with renovations expected to take about a year.

The total cost of the project is estimated at $600,000. In addition to the grant and loan from the city, the project is receiving a revolving loan of $200,000 from Franklin County, a historic preservation tax credit of $35,000 and an Americans with Disabilities Act tax credit of $10,000.

In other news from Grove City Council June 2:

• Council approved a rezoning of commercial property at 4302 Broadway. The property was previously divided between two different lots, C-1 and C-2, and that resulted in a corner of the building being in a separate zoning district than the rest of the building, which property owner Jimmy Sigman said became an issue when a potential tenant required a different type of zoning. Now, the entire property is zoned C-2.

That wasn't all this week for 4302 Broadway. The Grove City Planning Commission was scheduled to hear on Tuesday, June 3, an application for a special use permit that would allow a pet shop at the site, operating under the name "24-7 Reptiles."

• Jack Widner of the Grove City Little League board of directors said progress continues to be made toward the Dream Field, the baseball diamond built to accommodate children with special needs. If things go well, ground could be broken for the project at Windsor Park as early as July, he said.

"We want to get this thing started as soon as we can," Widner said.

The Grove City Little League is still accepting donations for the Dream Field. For more information, visit