After nearly two decades of work, developers are preparing to break ground on Granville’s Mill District, a proposed shopping center on the village’s Main Street, early next year.
The plan for the proposed development — an almost 12,000-square-foot area that will include retail spaces, a rain garden and, yes, a Chipotle — is still in the permitting process and will need to receive approval from the Granville Village Council, but should be all set to begin construction early next year, Mill District LLC Manager and real estate developer Karl Schneider said this week.
“We still have to get through the process with council, which we hope to have done here in December, and then we’ve got to get a permit and get bids,” he explained after the Wednesday, Nov. 15 village council meeting. “That takes some time.”
During the meeting, Schneider shared updates on the project with council members and told them the site had received approval for conditional use of a pickup window for Chipotle, a major step in finalizing contracts with the company.
Though Granville has not allowed restaurants to have pick-up and drive-through windows in the past, an April zoning code change now permits pick-up windows in village limits, which Village Manager Herb Koehler called a “key component” in the development at 500 S. Main Street.
Chipotle “has really pushed this deal forward and gotten a lot of attention from other [possible] tenants to make the project really viable economically,” Schneider told council members.
At this point, neither Chipotle nor any other tenant has signed a lease for the site, though Schneider is optimistic that finalized contracts with the Mexican restaurant chain will come soon.
Schneider said the Mill District is in talks with other potential tenants, but “there’s a little apprehension right now” given the economic uncertainty following the COVID-19 pandemic and high inflation.
Though the addition of a popular restaurant like Chipotle might be appealing to some Granville residents, others have already expressed concern about the presence of an established chain in the village, but Schneider said the benefits of economic development in the face of Intel-related growth are a positive for the community.
“I do think that Granville is anxious to see some economic development occur, given the growth in the east side of Columbus,” he said. “This has been a vacant parcel for a long time, and we’re hoping that people welcome the idea of having some new, fresh retail shops in the area and services that they get to utilize and take advantage of.”
The proposed development will include five storefronts that have been designed to the village’s — and Chipotle’s — specifications.
“The village is particular about the design fitting within what the community wants,” said Trevor Swanson, an architect at Triad Architects, the firm designing the project. “We worked really hard with them to develop a design that everyone would be happy with and is something that the community would be proud of.”
At this point, developers do not have an anticipated cost for the project.