"Green frame" is the new phrase for town center revitalization.

"Green frame" is the new phrase for town center revitalization.

After the reintroduction in January of the Grove City Town Center plan, completed in 2008 by Lincoln Street Studio, and the demise of the lumberyard development project earlier this month, Grove City officials are focusing on the green frame.

The green frame, as outlined in the 2008 plan, is a concept that proposes the town center be surrounded by housing sites and parks connected by tree-lined walkways and other aesthetically appealing infrastructure.

At-large city councilman Steve Bennett wrote a resolution to create a priority list for green frame improvements.

Council members were supposed to vote on the resolution Feb. 16, but their meeting was canceled because of weather.

They now are scheduled to vote on the resolution March 1. The city's administration already has begun working on the list, said city spokesman Don Walters.

Bennett said he proposed the legislation to take that "we're working on it attitude" and change it into a "we're doing it" attitude.

"This is essentially the first step in a long run," Bennett said. "Somebody's got to take the first step, and that's what we're doing."

According to the town center plan, the green frame is a circled area centered at Broadway and Park Street with a roughly quarter-mile radius.

The plan states the current area is not completely "walkable." It says the street network is incomplete and it has no urban parks.

Also, night lighting is inadequate and the existing walkway system doesn't connect all places of work, shopping and parking.

The plan proposes the inadequacies be rectified, which would entice developers to build houses, therefore increasing the number of people living in the area. The added residents then would drive increased demand for businesses.

If infrastructure improvements are completed, developers will follow quite readily, Bennett said.

"All they got to do is punch a hole in the ground, put the brick and mortar in, and there you go," he said. "If it's a nice enough place, people of all ages would want to live in the area.

"For them to come over there, they're going to have to have bodies," Bennett said. "It's a unique area that has appeal to a certain client and we're trying to bolster that."

Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage and his administration have said that they have followed the green frame concept by building a welcome center for the Grove City Visitors and Convention Bureau at 3378 Park St. and consolidating trash bins in the town center.

Another example is the addition of a new entrance for Windsor Park that connects the park to the town center.

Bennett, however, said those improvements have nothing to do with the green frame concept.

"What has been proclaimed and what is happening is different," he said.

Bennett said although businesses have left recently, the town center still has life in it.

A restaurant, pharmacy, hardware and grocery store have all recently closed in the town center.

"It's an evolution," Bennett said. "All cities have an evolution.

Council president Ted Berry said he is proud the city decided to terminate the lumberyard project for now. "I cannot tell you how fortunate we are not to have done that project," he said.