New Albany’s Village Center Transformed through Planning, Public/Private Collaboration

 

In 2001, what would become New Albany’s Market Square was under construction. In 2003, the New Albany branch of the Columbus Metropolitan library opened to help anchor Market Square and help attract people to the area. That same year, a formal study began to determine how to best utilize New Albany’s Rose Run Corridor, including a creek that ran through the community. Just five years later, in 2008, the McCoy Center for the Arts opened on New Albany-Plain Local’s school learning campus, followed by the opening of the Philip Heit Center for Healthy New Albany in 2015.

Now, nearly two decades after that initial study to determine how to integrate the Rose Run corridor, Rose Run Park is officially open, literally bridging all of these assets while connecting people to nature and each other.

Throughout all of these improvements, master planning, collaboration and a true sense of community were the foundations for success. “It’s gratifying to see our four community pillars of lifelong learning, the arts, health and wellness and environmental sustainability on full display in our Village Center, and it took a lot of public and private collaboration to happen,” said New Albany City Councilwoman Colleen Briscoe. “We made sure that public buildings like our library and arts center were situated in our core to serve as community anchors. Each of these projects was a catalyst for the next, and the addition of the Heit Center brought about foot traffic for more retail and restaurant space our residents have wanted for years. The entire area is continuing to flourish. This is a great time to live, work and play in New Albany and I’m honored to be a part of it.”

UNIQUE MIX OF COMMERCIAL, OFFICE AND RESIDENTIAL SPACE

Counting the Heit Center, which includes The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and health space and exercise space, Nationwide Children’s sports medicine/therapy/orthopedics space, and Healthy New Albany community space, there is approximately 220,000 SF of mixed use office, restaurant and retail space at Market Square and along Market and Main streets abutting the area of Dublin-Granville Road around the school learning campus.

Tenants include a healthy mix of independent operators like Truluck, Elliott Cooper, Pet People, Johnson’s Ice Cream, Whit’s and Fox in the Snow. “We’ve partnered with companies who provide tailored products and services that our residents want,” said New Albany Company President Bill Ebbing. “These tenants know that New Albany is a place where they can succeed, especially between our 11,000 residents and the more than 15,000 employees who work in our business park.”

Now, Ebbing is excited to announce the addition of two more locally owned and independently operated restaurants to the area:

  • Katzinger’s Delicatessen, which will be located in the Market & Main 2 development on Main Street between Johnson’s Ice Cream and the Heit Center; and
  • Harvest X Three Tigers, which will be located on 1.5 acres at the former New Albany Mill site at the corner of Main Street and Dublin-Granville Road. Harvest X Three Tigers is a unique collaboration between Harvest owner Chris Crader and Three Tigers Brewing Co. partners Lonnie Hill, Rick Moller and Scott Wilkins.

Katzinger’s seating capacity is expected to be around 60 and Harvest X 3 Tigers will hold even more in approximately 8,000 SF of interior space as well as an outdoor bier garten  area. The New Albany Company will maintain ownership of the former New Albany Mill site. For historical character, the look of the mill will stay very similar, and portions of the parking area will remain gravel in homage to New Albany’s heritage and rural history.

“We’re excited to be partnering with Three Tigers Brewing Co. to present a lively restaurant and microbrewery experience in the heart of New Albany,” said Chris Crader, Founder and CEO of Grow Restaurants. “Our goal is to open this summer so that guests can enjoy our locally-sourced menu, craft beer and artisan cocktails either inside or on the outdoor patio situated along Rose Run Park.”

“Like Harvest, Three Tigers Brewing Co. has a strong commitment to quality and sourcing as many local ingredients as possible.  We’ve been able to build a strong base of fans from New Albany and are looking forward to being in the community through this unique collaboration with Harvest,” said Scott Wilkins, co-owner of Three Tigers Brewing Co

“Our eye has been on New Albany for some time now,” said Tim Rollins, Founder and CEO of City Brands, owners of the storied Katzinger’s Delicatessen. “We believe Katzinger’s will fill an important niche, both in takeout and dine-in business. Our made to order menu attracts a loyal following and we’re already hearing from customers who are very excited we’ll be opening our doors in New Albany.”

This continued commitment of restaurants and shops in New Albany’s Village Center would not have occurred without the combined public infrastructure and private investment that brought about Market Square, the McCoy Center, and the Heit Center, the latter of which also helped bring luxury apartments to the area that cater to millennials and seniors, which add foot traffic to the local businesses and new revenues to the school district without burdening the district with more students. Various New Albany country club residential communities are also within walking distance of the area.

NEW RECREATION SPACE

Now, in the midst of all this commercial success, Rose Run Park is complete after sixteen months of construction. This park physically connects people to nature, each other and all of these area community assets while preserving green space in the heart of New Albany between Market Square and the school learning campus. The park also includes a child play area, library garden, bike maintenance area for cyclists, walking trails, the first half mile of New Albany’s velo loop protected bike lane, and a bridge, called Raines Crossing, that connects the school learning campus and McCoy Center to Market Square shops, the Heit Center and library. A formal park dedication will take place later in 2020, with programming expected to occur in the park through the spring, summer and autumn months.

WHAT’S NEXT?

Even with this abundance of Village Center improvements, New Albany doesn’t plan to stand still. Planning for the second phase of Rose Run Park, on the south side of Dublin-Granville Road near Village Hall and the current Duke & Duchess gas station and convenience store, will begin in earnest in 2020 with additional green space that includes special recognition of the original New Albany Cemetery, connector bridges, trails and additional commercial space in the core of town that will serve as a natural extension to the new park area just completed.

Plans are also in the works to improve the US 62/State Route 161 corridor, roughly a half mile northeast of the US 62/Dublin-Granville Road intersection. Improvements include the creation of complete streets with leisure trails, bike lanes, enhancements to SR 161 on and off ramps and adding a traffic signal to the US 62/Theissen intersection near the Plain Township Fire Station. A new Duke & Duchess is also planned at the northeast corner of the US62/Theissen intersection.

Just southeast of this area, plans are in the works for the next phase of road improvements in the vicinity of Reynoldsburg-New Albany Road that will help divert vehicles away from the center of town by providing a more direct route toward SR 161 and US 62. While still in the planning stages, this extension will ease the flow of traffic through the center of town and around the school learning campus.

City Manager Joseph Stefanov seconds City Councilwoman Briscoe’s idea that master planning and collaboration are significant pieces to New Albany’s success. “New Albany has been blessed with strong City Council leadership throughout my 20-year tenure. They bought into our planning and worked hard to make our Village Center become a walkable destination in the heart of our town. We have tremendous commercial partners, lots of green space, and our community pillars of education, health, arts and the environment are evident everywhere you look, thanks to their leadership.”