Feb 19

The Tuesday Top 5: February 19th, 2019

Posted on February 19, 2019 at 1:54 PM by Laura Oldham

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.


1. West Third westbound to close for bridge demolition

The widening of West Third Avenue between the Market District grocery and Olentangy River Road has reached a milestone with the planned demolition of the CSX rail trestle this weekend.

Contractor Complete General Construction will close West Third under the CSX rail line from Friday, February 22nd at 7 p.m. through 5 a.m. on Monday, February 25th to remove the metal bridge. Trains have already switched to a temporary, parallel rail line and trestle to allow for the reconstruction of the permanent structure.


Detour signs will get put in place redirecting traffic during the demolition. For those wishing to plan ahead, go online for more information.

That project allows the widening and reconstruction of Third Avenue and creates sidewalks and a shared-use path between the Columbus Fire Station No. 25 to Edgehill Road. The widening is designed to alleviate traffic from Grandview Yard and other development off of Third while improving safety for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Completion of the project is slated for late summer.

2. My Salon Suite latest to open in Grandview Yard

A new spa experience has opened on the north end of the Grandview Yard that will offer business opportunities to 28 entrepreneurs as well as creating another amenity to the growing number of residents and workers in the mixed-use district, the rest of Grandview Heights, and surrounding area.

Franchise co-owner Jennifer Skrobarcek said the salon at 1090 Yard Street has suites for individual members to lease and offer such spa services such as women and men’s hair styling, massage therapy, laser treatments, and Botox treatments.


The first appointments occurred February 10th. About eight of the suites remain available. Skrobarcek and husband Jarrett plan to open two more My Salon Suite locations in the Columbus market. She said the “exploding” commercial and residential development at Grandview Yard – combined with its high visibility and accessibility – made the 5,400-square-foot space especially attractive for their initial location. 

The spa suites are located at the north end of the Manchester commercial and apartment building. The Brekkie Shack Café opened in 2018 in the south cap of the Manchester property. The Janney Montgomery Scott Financial Services Firm opened next to the Brekkie café last year while a Club Pilates fitness studio is currently building out its space between the My Salon Suites and the Janney office.

Find out more about the salon.

3. City updates map where dogs may share parks 

Every so often residents call or email me about establishment of a dog park here in Grandview Heights or at least find places in town where residents may allow their dogs to stretch their legs a little more than their walks around the neighborhood allow.

Short of a formal, fenced in park of 2 acres or so, the City offers six options to residents and their canine companions wanting to get grass under their feet.

Grandview Heights Dog Friendly Parks

City parks where residents may walk their dogs are: 
  • Goodale Green space between Urlin Avenue and Wyandotte Road;
  • The perimeter of Wallace Gardens;
  • Parkway Park (corner of Parkway and Oxley);
  • Memorial Park at Northwest Boulevard between Oxley Road and Second Avenue;
  • Burr Avenue Park at Bobcat Avenue in Grandview Yard
  • Yard Street Green Space at Goodale Boulevard Grandview Yard
  • First Avenue Park, 850 First Ave. in Grandview Yard
  • Wyman Woods (Mixed-use path only.)

I also want to remind residents they must maintain physical control of their pets in these parks per City Ordinance and, due to public health regulations, must clean up after their dogs.

The City has posted “No Dogs” signs at these other Grandview parks: Pierce Field, McKinley Field, Wyman Woods and C. Ray Buck Sports Park. 

As to the issue of creating a park just for dogs, previous consideration of that option found a fenced-in park for dogs to run free would take 2 acres simply unavailable at the cost to purchase, develop and maintain.

That said, Franklin County Metro Parks also has fenced-in dog parks and trails, including the Scioto Audubon Park just west of the Brewery District downtown.

Residents can also consider the five City of Columbus parks with designated areas where dogs can run free.

4. Balboa project advances

Renovations to the Balboa restaurant should begin soon after the Grandview Heights Planning Commission met in special session February 7th to consider revised plans for a reconfiguration of the patio of the restaurant at 1312 Grandview Ave.

The commission voted 5-0 at the meeting to approve the site plan, a reduction in the setback of the primary structure to the curb, and the construction of a detached, open-air timber structure.

It voted 3-2 to allow a fire trough along the counter-level rail parallel to Grandview Avenue.

The renovation plans gained approval after developer Connect Realty agreed to widen the sidewalk across the property from 4 feet to 8 feet.

The restaurant closed to the general public on January 7th as the operators worked on their renovation plans. Connect Realty Vice President of Development Jeff Bauer said the restaurant would open “in early spring” without setting a specific target date.

5. Appreciation expressed as school board completes Yard TIF restructuring

The Grandview Heights City School District board unanimously passed the restructuring of the Grandview Yard infrastructure financing bonds on February 13th, completing a year-long effort to lessen the financial impact of the school construction bond levy on property owners.

That approval follows City Council’s 6-1 vote on February 4th to approve the same revised deal with Yard developer Nationwide Realty Investors as well as other related legislation. 

It cannot be stressed enough: this measure, as I wrote in my February 12th blog, will result in a contribution of 50 percent of the TIF payments toward repayment of the $56 million bonds over the life of the capital bonds. This restructuring not only substantially reduces the amount homeowners and other property owners pay in property taxes, it will promote the redevelopment of 13 acres of industrial land south of Goodale between Olentangy River Road and Bobcat Avenue.

I would like to extend my personal congratulations and appreciation to district Superintendent Andy Culp, Treasurer Beth Collier, and the school board members for their year-long efforts to fashion this deal even as they worked to create a plan to address the facility needs for the students of Grandview Heights and Marble Cliff. 

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit GrandviewHeights.org. 

Sign up here to get text or email alerts with the latest news from the City of Grandview Heights: https://www.grandviewheights.org/list.aspx?ListID=261

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Feb 18

City, Grandview Heights Schools Laud Yard Compensation Agreement

Posted on February 18, 2019 at 11:19 PM by Laura Oldham

The Grandview Heights Board of Education, the City of Grandview Heights, and Nationwide
Realty Investors (NRI) have reached an agreement on an amended school compensation
formula for the Grandview Yard Development. As a result of this amended agreement, the cost
of the recently passed school facilities bond levy will be reduced by half for Grandview Heights
and Marble Cliff property owners.

Twelve months ago, discussions among the District’s Financial Advisory Committee during the
Facilities planning process led the District to approach NRI - with the support of City officials - to
explore all possible funding options to reduce the cost of a bond levy to property owners.
“Representatives from the School District, the City of Grandview Heights, and NRI worked
tirelessly over the last year on this effort,” said Board Vice President Melissa Palmisciano, who
led the negotiating team for the District.  “We would like to congratulate all parties on this
collaborative effort that furthers our public-private partnership in the Grandview Yard and that
provides important financial support to our schools and our community.”

Pending approval of Issue 6, the Board of Education passed a resolution on October 10,
2018, directing the County Auditor to take any additional payments from the Grandview Yard
into account when establishing the bond millage for the facilities portion of Issue 6.  On
November 28, 2018, the Board of Education, in anticipation of additional revenue from the
amended Grandview Yard agreement, asked the Franklin County Auditor to reduce the bond
millage collection rate for 2019 by half the rate approved by the voters.  This means that
taxpayers will see a reduced tax bill for the bond portion of Issue 6 - from an estimated $205
per $100,000 of property valuation to $102 per $100,000 of property valuation annually.
“Over the past year I have been fortunate enough to be a part of a remarkable process working
with the School Board and Council to pursue the new compensation agreement that the school
board is voting on tonight,” Grandview Heights Mayor Ray DeGraw said in a statement
delivered by Council Member Anthony Panzera at the Wednesday, February 13, 2019, Board of
Education meeting.  “This has taken a great deal of dedicated work by both city and school
elected officials along with staff. This work has resulted in a final accomplishment that
overwhelmingly benefits the residents of this community.” 

The Grandview Heights City Council approved the Amended Grandview Yard Agreement at its
regular meeting on February 4th, 2019.

“Thanks to this significant collaboration between the City of Grandview Heights, NRI and the
school district, we will be able to accomplish all that was detailed as a part of Issue 6 - make
safety, security and ADA upgrades to all school buildings, build a new fourth through eighth
grade school, and comprehensively renovate Grandview Heights High School,” added
Superintendent Andy Culp, “at a reduced cost for residents and property owners.”

“This is an amazing example of elected officials coming together for the good of the
community,” Palmisciano said.  “As a result of our collaboration with the City, significant
additional Grandview Yard funds will be allocated to the School District, and we will reduce the
tax burden on our residents to upgrade our school facilities.  This effort demonstrates what can
be achieved when individuals devote the time and energy to work toward a lofty common

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Feb 05

The Tuesday Top 5: February 5th, 2019

Posted on February 5, 2019 at 7:49 PM by Laura Oldham

Welcome to the Tuesday Top 5! Your source for the latest info on what is going on in Grandview Heights.

1. Parks & Rec Opens Spring Registration

Registration for Park & Recreation Department’s spring programming begins today.

Programs available this spring includes adult golf and kickball; Tuesday ’Tivities for 4th through 6th graders; TGIF for 4th through 8th graders; a Good Friday field trip to SplatterPark paintball venue in Mt. Gilead for those age 10 and older; and the Blast Off to Summer four-day camp for kids kindergarten through 5th grade.

If you haven’t yet received your Grandview Heights Spring Community Guide, it should arrive shortly. Otherwise, click here to view the pdf version of the community guide and information regarding the various Parks & Recreation programs.


2. South of Goodale Legislation Passes

The redevelopment of 13 acres south of Goodale Boulevard from Grandview Yard lurched forward February 4th after Grandview Height City Council voted 6-1 to rezone the distressed industrial properties stretching from Twin Rivers Drive to Bobcat Avenue.

Two development groups – a joint venture between the former owners of the W.W. Williams Co. and Elford Development and a second led by Grandview Yard developer Nationwide Realty Investors – have redevelopment plans in the works for the area that includes, in addition to the W. W. Williams site, a metals scrapyard operated by Research Alloys Co. and the former Ford Engineering property.

The zoning ordinance, 2019-04, changed the zoning from M-1 light industrial to GCMXD, Grandview Commerce Mixed-Use District. Council also passed two other pieces of supporting legislation for redevelopment of the South of Goodale land in similar 6-1 votes, including formation of a tax increment finance (TIF) district and economic development agreement.

The legislative package also restructures the School Compensation Agreement between the City of Grandview Heights and the school the Grandview Heights City School District. The significate increase in the compensation coming from the newly defined Yard boundaries to the school allows the school district to reduce by half the amount it will collect from property owners in support of a capital improvement bond issue voters approved in early November for school construction projects. I will expand on this item in next week’s Top Five.

I have written about the redevelopment effort in this blog several times in the last five months, most recently on January 15th. School Board members were at the meeting in sport of the legislation. I also wrote on January 22nd about the tax revenue impact of the Yard.


3. JEDZ Bolsters City Finances

The City’s Joint Economic Development Zone agreement with Clinton Township continued to produce strong tax revenue in 2018.

Grandview Finance Director Bob Dvoraczky told the January 29th Clinton Twp./Grandview Heights JEDZ meeting that the JEDZ collected gross revenue of $3.3 million in 2018 tax receipts from businesses and those working in the township. The City of Grandview Heights took in a net $628,035.38 as its 20 percent take of the $3.14 million net revenue as part of the five-year-old pact with the township.

Grandview Heights also got paid a 2 percent fee – or $66,008 in 2018 – to administer the JEDZ that netted the township $2.5 million in 2018. Since its April 2014 income tax inception, the JEDZ net revenue has totaled $2.86 million from the City’s 20 percent share and in the last four years has ranged from $607,000 to $692,000.

The JEDZ board also gets a 2 percent cut of the net to promote economic development within the township, which includes the Lennox Town Center, the University View residential neighborhood and part of the Kinnear Road corridor as well as other commercial corridors along Cleveland Avenue and Westerville Road near Oakland Park Avenue. 

The City’s cooperative partnership with Clinton Twp. also  strengthens the economic vitality in the greater Tri-Village area where many Grandview Heights residents work and shop.

4. Revised Balboa Plan Set for Commission Review

The Grandview Heights Planning Commission will meet in special session this week to consider developer Connect Realty’s revised renovation plan for the patio at the Balboa restaurant at 1312 Grandview Avenue.

BalBoa Page 5

The plan now calls for widening the sidewalk from the existing 4 feet to 8 feet, a change the City administration promoted when the developer unveiled their plans at the commission’s January 16th meeting as part of a broader effort to make the Grandview commercial corridor more pedestrian friendly. The proposal retains a request to approve a detached, timber-frame trellis over the existing patio as well as a natural gas fire pit.

The commission will consider approval of the site plan, the detached structure, and the owner’s request for a variance for the proposed reduction of the setback from the curb to the primary structure.

The restaurant closed to the general public on January 7th as the operators work on their renovation plans. A sign on the restaurant’s door said it will host special events until the reopening of the patio at an unspecified date in the spring.

The planning commission will consider the project at a special meeting in Council Chambers on Thursday, February 7th at 7 p.m.

5. State of the City Address Reminder

I would like to, once again, invite Grandview Heights residents and businesses to hear my annual State of the City address set for March 12th.

Council, City staff, and those volunteering on numerous city boards have worked hard to keep Grandview Heights a top destination for living, working, and enjoying the recreation and entertainment options in our compact community. 

The City has set the course for expanding our tax base and employment opportunities while we anticipate the Building on Tradition community planning effort and City Places & Spaces panel exploring options for new community facilities reports soon to guide us into the future. 

Please mark your calendar for this presentation set for 6 p.m. at the Grand Event Center next to the Courtyard by Marriott Hotel. 

Tuesday Top 5 is a weekly update from Mayor Ray DeGraw and the City of Grandview Heights. For more information, visit GrandviewHeights.org. 

Sign up here to get text or email alerts with the latest news from the City of Grandview Heights: https://www.grandviewheights.org/list.aspx?ListID=261

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