COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — A green, water-filled hole dominates the site of the former Giant Eagle near German Village where The Pizzuti Companies fought hard for permission to redevelop it.
But instead of construction activity at the East Whittier Street location that a website states is due to be completed in 2023, steel beams sit where they were dropped months ago.
Movement will happen soon, assured a spokesperson for The Pizzuti Companies.
“We experienced some supply chain issues, as most have at this point,” said the spokesperson in an email statement. “We’re anticipating some movement within the next month or so.”
And they gave a new estimated completion date: “The project is expected to complete the second half of 2024.”
Construction delays are a common problem for builders right now, South Side Area Commissioner Curtis Davis said. He said in an email that Pizzuti’s project — now called Jaeger Square — is moving forward.
“Due to the supply chain issues, and other costs that were not expected from the project, they are finalizing their paperwork with their partners to get the project moving,” Davis said. “I would anticipate movement in the next 30 days or so.”
German Villagers who fought the development for much of two years aren’t looking forward to the completion of the project. They’ve only given up because they are out of money, said a member of Neighborhoods for Responsible Development.
“We were supporting the suit by neighbors adjacent to the facility,” said Michael Gallaugher, a member of the organization. “We filed a stay and that was turned down. Then an appeal to the decision by Columbus City Council and lost that appeal.
“Neighbors decided they couldn’t bear the financial obligation of legally pursuing Pizzuti and decided not to go any further.”
That doesn’t mean they’re happy about it.
“It’s still too tall,” Gallaugher said. “Everybody is concerned about traffic and parking. I’m 160 feet from the property. Now I can park in front of my house. But my concern is that I’ll never be able to park in front of my house any time I wish again.”
Gallaugher said that Pizzuti had planned to put in electricity for construction in November 2021.
“We assumed based on that date that they would be starting shortly thereafter, but they always said it would take two years to complete,” Gallaugher said.
As to the green, water-filled hole, Gallaugher said it’s already been pumped out once but has filled again.
Pizzuti assured NBC4 that it’s not a mosquito breeding ground.
“The water has been treated for mosquitos with briquettes,” the spokesperson said in an email. “In addition, we’ve utilized a dewatering system for sediment control.”