Three tenants on board for Groveport’s 1847 Main project

Scott Gerfen
ThisWeek
This rendering of Wirt's Grove is at the corner of College and Main streets. The two-story building will have more than 12,000 square feet with five storefronts on the first floor.

Three tenants have committed to Groveport’s Main Street development project, with construction set to begin the last week of July. 

“As soon as we get the leases signed, we will be able to announce the names,” Assistant City Manager and Development Director Jeff Green said at Groveport City Council’s April 26 meeting. 

Two tenants plan to occupy what will be known as the Wirt’s Grove building and the other will be in the Rarey’s Port building, he said. 

The $7.6 million project, known as 1847 Main, refers to the year Groveport was incorporated from two rival villages, Rarey's Port and Wirt's Grove, located on the Ohio and Erie Canal. 

According to the building designs, the two-story Wirt’s Grove at College and Main streets is more than 12,000 square feet with five storefronts on the first floor and nearly 70 parking spaces. 

Rarey's Port at Front and Main streets is more than 14,000 square feet, with six storefronts. Parking will be available at the nearby municipal building. 

The city is funding construction costs through a combination of nontax and tax revenue bonds, according to city Finance Director Jason Carr. 

Construction of the Rarey’s Port building is set to begin the last week of July, with completion scheduled for late March 2022. Wirt’s Grove construction will begin in August, with a completion date of April 2022. 

“We’ve had to push back the construction date because of the availability of building materials,” Green said. 

As part of the project, the city also is completing a comprehensive planning study for Main Street and the “older historic downtown area” through the Groveport Community Improvement Corp., a not-for-profit organization whose mission is to enhance Groveport’s economic and community development efforts. 

Eric Wolford, owner of Kazoku Dojo, presents Groveport Police Chief Ralph Portier his black belt and the title of sensei during Portier's retirement party April 27 at Paddock Pub at the Links of Groveport.

Council lauds retired police chief 

Also April 26, Mayor Lance Westcamp and members of council paid tribute to Ralph Portier, who retired as police chief April 28 after more than 10 years. 

“I am so glad it worked out, Ralph,” said Westcamp, who hired Portier in 2009. “You’ve been everything I ever expected and above what I expected. … You influenced so many lives. You need to walk away with your head held high.” 

Portier was praised for transforming the department into one that is more community oriented. 

“Respect from the community starts with leadership, and you, sir, have embodied that in our department,” Councilman Ed Dildine Jr. said. “The residents of this city absolutely respect our police department. Not too many places can say that.” 

“We are so fortunate to have had you for the last 12 years,” Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert said. 

This characture was one of several gifts Groveport Police Chief Ralph Portier received during his retirement party April 27 at Paddock Pub at the Links at Groveport.

Portier, 70, was diagnosed with stage 3 pancreatic cancer in November 2019. Complications related to the illness have limited his ability to serve the community and the men and women of the police force, he said during an interview with ThisWeek  earlier this month. 

“It’s been a great ride, but I am tired,” an emotional Portier told City Council. “You’ve directed me and guided me. I am (who I am) because of all of you.”   

Westcamp has named 47-year-old Casey Adams to succeed Portier as police chief. Adams has been with the Groveport department since 2001, when his father, Roger, retired after 20 years as the community’s longest-serving police chief. 

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