COLUMBUS (WCMH) — Columbus City Council are set to discuss a huge development that will expand the North Market.
The $192-million development will expand the market’s footprint and include a public atrium, restaurants, a hotel, apartments, and office space.
Developers plan to build the North Market Tower, a 26-story building will rise from the parking lot.
Marty McGreevy, the owner of Market Blooms, has been selling flowers in the North Market for 30 years.
She had seen a lot of changes come to the historic market, from the market once being in a cramped Quonset Hut, to its now two-story industrial building on Spruce Street.
“I think what it is bringing to the market, what it’s bringing to the city, I think it’s a wonderful addition,” says Marty.
Marty’s excitement about the North Market expansion also comes from some fear.
She says the next 24 to 30 months of construction will be a test: Can the current 35 businesses weather the storm?
“You hope people won’t abandon us. We are worth working harder to get here,” Marty said.
The city predicts the development will generate approximately 1,200 new jobs and $78 million in annual income from these jobs, providing the city with an estimated $33 million in tax revenue over the next 15 years.
Marty said after the idea to expand the market was announced in 2017, she had to learn how to prepare for the construction.
“As soon as I left that meeting, I started working on my website,” she said.
Rick Harrison Wolfe, executive director of the North Market Development Authority, said growth will allow for an economic boom for the North Market Historical District.
“This building will bring 600 daytime workers, 150 units to live in, these are all people that will come over here to shop,” said Wolfe.
A boost in business growth is something Marty said she’s excited to see come to fruition.
“More business means better pricing for the merchant and hopefully better pricing for the customer as well,” she said.
If passed, the city expects to break ground in 2020, with an estimated completion date sometime in 2022.
Also on the docket for today’s city council meeting is a controversial proposal to reduce marijuana possession penalties within the city.
Council is set to meet starting at 5 p.m. at City Hall.