After four years as Reynoldsburg's development director, Dan Havener is back in his hometown of Grove City as that community's economic development manager.

He began his new job on Nov. 27. His base salary is $88,129, an increase from the $81,834 base salary he was earning in Reynoldsburg.

One of the biggest projects Havener leaves behind in Reynoldsburg -- if not the biggest -- is construction of a new YMCA-affiliated community center, made possible by voter approval in May of an income tax increase from 1.5 percent to 2.5 percent.

Other projects during his tenure in Reynoldsburg include:

* Construction of an OhioHealth freestanding emergency department that opened Dec. 13.

* Plans for a new Kroger store and Turkey Hill service station on 15 acres at the northwest corner of East Main Street and Rosehill Road.

* Construction of the Shoppes at East Broad retail development.

* Construction of the Inn at Summit Trail, an assisted-living facility at 8115 Summit Road on the city's east side.

* Construction of the third Harbor Freight Tools location in central Ohio on what had been a vacant lot at 6294 E. Main St.

Reynoldsburg Mayor Brad McCloud said Monday, Dec. 11, no one has yet been named to succeed Havener.

"It's an exciting opportunity to join the staff in Grove City and help develop more economic development opportunities that will help increase the city's revenue," Havener said of his new position. "Having lived in Grove City for 25 years and raised my family here and with no plans to move, it's an honor to be able to help contribute to my community."

Havener's connection to Grove City made him an obvious choice for economic development manager, Mayor Richard "Ike" Stage said.

"As we looked for someone to fill the economic development manager position, we wanted to make sure we got someone who understood the Grove City area," Stage said. "Dan's certainly someone who meets that, being a Grove City resident and a former member of our planning commission.

"The other piece is that he's had unique experience in Reynoldsburg with different development tools that we think would be very appropriate and beneficial for our city."

Before he was hired in Reynoldsburg, Havener worked as a project manager with Shremshock Architects and Engineers and worked 22 years at Bob Evans Farms Inc., including a stint as the company's director of engineering in its development department.

His previous private sector experience has helped him in his public-sector positions, Havener said.

"When you're involved in economic development, it helps to know what businesses and developers are looking for and what concerns they may have," he said.

His role as Grove City's economic development manager will include creating programs to attract businesses and retain existing businesses, supporting the city's business incubator program and assisting with the administration of the city's economic development.

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