City Notes: BrewDog's arrival in New Albany's Village Center exemplifies years of planning

Joseph F. Stefanov
Guest columnist

By now, most of you have heard the big news that BrewDog is planning a new location here in New Albany, at the old New Albany Mill site at 97 W. Granville St.

Although the opening date isn’t yet known, BrewDog expects to be open by summertime, and it could open even sooner than that within steps of our new Rose Run Park.

Joseph Stefanov is New Albany's city manager.

This is an exciting time for our Village Center, and BrewDog is the latest chapter to a story that started 20 years ago when Market Square was under construction in the core of our then tiny village.

Since then, we’ve welcomed the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan Library, the Jeanne B. McCoy Community Center for the Arts, the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany, the second phase of the Market & Main commercial development, Rose Run Park, the Marx Library Garden and the Charleen & Charles Hinson Amphitheater.

Even better, each of these projects served as a catalyst for the project that followed it.

Just a few years ago, our Rose Run stream corridor formed a natural barrier between amenities like Market Square and the New Albany-Plain Local School District learning campus, and the creek itself was obscured by invasive plants and brush that gave the corridor an unwelcoming appearance. Today, thousands are enjoying Rose Run Park, and Raines Crossing literally bridges our civic assets, bringing people and nature together in a much more welcoming environment.

Strategic planning, collaboration and a sense of community always have been foundational to our success, and the growth and maturity of our Village Center perfectly illustrates this.

Our community pillars – lifelong learning, the arts, health and wellness and environmental sustainability – are on full display in the heart of town and surrounded by more than 220,000 square feet of mixed-use space along Market and Main streets.

Furthermore, our vast 55-plus-mile leisure-trail network connects our town center to neighborhoods and the New Albany International Business Park, with each helping to generate the foot traffic that makes the Village Center economically viable.

The city has been blessed with collaborative New Albany City Council leadership throughout my 21-year tenure. Other community leaders have been a vital part of the development process, as well, with many individuals working collectively to move us forward.

Whenever BrewDog opens later this year, I invite you to take a walk through Rose Run Park sometime before or after you dine. Look around, and you’ll see a beautiful, natural setting, surrounded by a center for the performing arts, an amphitheater, a children’s play area close to the beautiful school learning campus, a library, a community health anchor and many diverse shops and restaurants.

This vibrancy is what residents have been anticipating in the heart of New Albany for many years, and it is fun to see many families now enjoying it. It has been an honor to be a part of this success.

There is even more to come in the Village Center’s future as we continue to be aspirational in our efforts. We are planning for Rose Run Park Phase 2, which includes a new Veterans Memorial, more restaurants and shops and an expanded road network to better distribute traffic through and around town.

Our Village Center and our future are bright indeed.

Joseph F. Stefanov is New Albany's city manager.