New Albany: 5 top stories from 2020

5 Top Stories of 2020

As with all communities in central Ohio, the COVID-19 coronavirus left its mark on New Albany in 2020, but plenty of other newsworthy headlines were generated, too.

Here’s a brief recap of five significant stories published in the ThisWeek New Albany News during the past 12 months.

Park proves popular during pandemic – New Albany's revitalized Rose Run Park opened at the end of 2019, but it turned out to be vital to 2020 during the coronavirus pandemic.

Rose Run Park is part of the Rose Run stream corridor that runs mostly parallel to Dublin-Granville Road through New Albany, and it previously had been accessible only by leisure trails.

A roughly 18-month, $17 million revitalization project for the park and the surrounding area included construction of a 34-foot bridge and promenade that connects the New Albany Plain-Local School District campus on the north side of Dublin-Granville to the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library and Market Square to the south.

During the pandemic, the park gave residents and civic groups a place for socially distanced activities, such as symphony concerts, Healthy New Albany yoga classes and simply walking or exercising.

Related story:Rose Run Park opens for New Albany residents

Related story:Rose Run Park a staple during pandemic

New businesses continue to arrive – Development always plays a starring role in New Albany, and 2020 was no different.

Two examples of projects revealed during the year included a complex of high-end private garages for storing and displaying vehicles and a social hall with food vendors.

The initial phase of the Motor Enclave project is expected to open in October 2021 on the northwest corner of Kitzmiller Road and state Route 161. The first 45 private garages for purchase, which will cost between $154,250 to $550,000, will be customized to serve as personal entertainment space.

Meanwhile, the Bubbly Hall social venue is expected to open in early 2021 at 6031 Central College Road in Columbus, just outside New Albany's city limits. It is expected to have a bar, up to 10 stationary kiosks and another eight to 10 portable stalls for vendors. One of the vendors should be a specialty grocer.

Related story:Motor Enclave expected to open in late 2021

Related story:Social hall with food vendors introduced to New Albany community

Sheetz orders up central Ohio expansion – Sheetz, a family-run chain that combines a gas station with a fresh-foods cafe and convenience store, also announced its big plans for the central Ohio market in September – and those plans include New Albany.

After the company, which got its start in Altoona, Pennsylvania, broke ground on its first central Ohio facilities in Delaware and Obetz, its leaders revealed they intend to open a dozen locations each year through 2025 in central Ohio.

Some other known sites Sheetz has targeted are at Johnstown Road and Walton Parkway in the New Albany International Business Parkon Cemetery Road in Hilliardon Bethel Road in northwest Columbus, on Hilliard-Rome Road in west Columbus and at Grandview Avenue and Dublin Road in Grandview Heights.

Related story:Sheetz breaks ground in Delaware and Obetz, plans about 50 stores in central Ohio

Related story:Sheetz gains initial approval for Hilliard site

Related story:Sheetz planning another location just south of Hilliard

Related story:Sheetz update: Plans taking shape for store in northwest Columbus

Related story:Sheetz plans location in New Albany

Related story:Planning commission begins consideration of Sheetz application

Strategic planning leads to IDEA – One of the fruits of the Engage New Albany strategic-plan update, which took about 18 months of work and gathered feedback from more than 1,300 people, was the establishment of the Inclusion, Diversity and Equity Advisory Committee, or the IDEA Committee, for short, in September.

The IDEA Committee includes eight residents and representatives from Plain Township, the New Albany Community Foundation, the New Albany-Plain Local Joint Parks District, Healthy New Albany, the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the New Albany Chamber of Commerce and the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts.

Its purpose is to ensure everyone in the community feels welcomed and included.

Related story:New Albany leaders expect to finish strategic-plan draft by spring

Related story:IDEA Committee on track to meet in December

Independence Day parade goes on – Even during the pandemic, residents got to participate in the annual Fourth of July parade – and they didn't have to leave their yards.

Instead of a traditional parade, the New Albany Community Events Board worked with the city to develop a 15-mile parade that went to 19 New Albany neighborhoods over the course of three hours.

Related story:New Albany plans neighborhood parade for Fourth of July

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