NEWS

Grandview Yard expected to complement suburb’s existing retail district

January 7th, 2011
Craig Lovelace, Columbus Business First

A new romance brings with it optimism, enthusiasm, speculation and questions about whether the relationship will blossom over time. The same might be said for Grandview Yard in Grandview Heights, whose first phase has been opening over the past four months.

In the making for the past five years, the Yard has business owners talking and
wondering how much impact its development will have on the suburb and the already established retail corridor along Grandview Avenue.

“There’s been a lot of communication among businesses with everyone talking about wanting to start meeting at Grandview Yard,” said Marcie Gabor, a principal at the branding and marketing firm Conrad Phillips Vutech, whose office is near the development on Goodale Boulevard.

If the Yard becomes a destination, that’s the stuff developers love to hear. Her firm moved to the area from the Short North just as
rumblings started to emerge of a large project on the site of a former Big Bear Stores
distribution center.

“We saw the potential in it becoming a more active area,” Gabor said. “People love the idea that the Grandview-Goodale
corridor is getting a face-lift.”

And a face-lift it is.

The $500 million mixed-use development will incorporate as much as 2 million square feet of retail, office space and housing
components on the 90-acre site it encompasses off West Third Avenue in Grandview and the border it shares with Columbus to the east.

There are expectations the project will create thousands of jobs. Tenants in the first phase include Urban Active Fitness, Jason’s Deli, Hyatt Place, Buckeye Hall of Fame Grille, a dentist’s office and M+A Architects.

It’s hard to fathom what the site will look like after the 90 acres are developed by Nationwide Realty Investors Ltd. Whatever the outcome, there is no doubt that Grandview Yard will affect how others consider the suburb, said Patrik Bowman, Grandview’s director of administration.

“It is certainly going to be busier down there,” Bowman said, noting the development is preferred over the large office and medical buildings at Gowdy Field on Olentangy River Road, developed for Ohio State University and Time Warner Cable. He said he thinks the diverse makeup of Nationwide Realty’s plan is consistent with Grandview’s own planning.

Bowman anticipates the Yard will enhance rather than detract from the city’s other prominent retail areas along West Fifth and Grandview avenues.

“It would likely change (shopping trends),” he said. “On the other hand, there are going to be thousands of new employees who aren’t going to eat lunch there.”

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