UPPER ARLINGTON, Ohio (WCMH) – For years The Golden Bear Center in Upper Arlington has been a place for people to gather for coffee, a meal or even a haircut.

Now it’s being torn down, and a new building is planned for the space, with condos, retail and office space. It’s a project that’s been in the works since 2019 and has a price tag of around $75 million.

For some long-time businesses like Colin’s Coffee, it’s a sad goodbye, but they said it’s also about celebrating their time here.

“We’ve kind of been delaying the inevitable for quite some time now. At least it feels that way,” Colin’s Coffee Barista Charlotte Janes said.

Janes has served people their coffee at Colin’s for almost seven years. Her last day and the shop’s will be Aug. 20.

“A lot of people have a really big attachment to this building itself. You know, we’ve got a group of runners that run down at the park and come in on the weekends. And we just have a lot of different local groups and people within the community that really have come to rely on this place,” Janes said. “I know we’ve got a couple of customers actually who have anniversaries and first dates and stuff tied to this place.”

For another long-time business, ZIA, Aug. 11 was its last day.

“The golden bear plaza is iconic. And it’s been here since 1966. And so, it’s very important to the people of Upper Arlington. And we hate to see it come down. But growth is necessary, I guess,” ZIA Salon Hair Stylish Elizabeth Kay said.

Arcadia Development plans to build 76 luxury condos, retail and office space. The project got approval at the end of 2019, then was put on hold throughout the pandemic, but now it is moving forward.

It’s happening with help from a state grant. The grant is for revitalizing run-down, abandoned or vacant structures.

“It’s at the end of its life cycle. So you know, these types of infill projects are really smart growth and they’re huge for the local community,” Managing Partner of Arcadia Development Scott Patton said.

While the entire space will be rebuilt, Patton said that the golden bear statue will stay at the site.

“It’s the residents of Golden Bear. So yeah, I mean we’re going to stick with tradition, you’ll see a lot of the history of Upper Arlington, as some of the street names, the unit names are all street names,” Patton said.

Patton said the project will bring an economic boost to the area.

“Upper Arlington will get income tax that they’re captured directly within their community, and then obviously a huge boost of windfall on the property taxes,” Patton said.

Co-Owner of Keller Williams Consultants Realty Barbara Gale is working with Patton. She said that so far 10 of the condo units are already under contract.

“With Intel, the new airport, the new outer belt, all the stuff that’s going on in Columbus, I mean, this community is going to be thriving for many, many, many, many years,” Gale said.

Right now, the demolition day for the center is set for Sept. 5 and the developers said the goal is a 24-month build-out.

Until then, businesses are getting ready to close their doors and think about the next steps.

“Everybody’s just kind of celebrating the time that we’ve been here, and you know, it’s just been wonderful to work alongside so many impressive businesses over the years,” Janes said.

Colin’s Coffee said there are plans in the works to hopefully reopen.

“Our neighbors across the street here, our wonderful friends, the Daily Growler. They’re fantastic and they might be willing to share some space with us. So once again, we’re just knocking out the details, don’t know 1,000%, however, things are looking good,” Janes said.