Demolition goal: Create more Uptown parking for Centerville entertainment district



CENTERVILLE — Demolition of a city-owned house to add parking near the center of Uptown is targeted for spring, before Centerville embarks on a $11.4 million renovation plan.

Tearing down the 92-year-old structure that sits on about 1 acre at 98 W. Franklin St. will make way for a “significant parking lot” to help accommodate restaurants and businesses in the city’s 113-acre entertainment district, Centerville Development Director Michael Norton-Smith said.

“At this point we don’t have a number in mind” for the amount of parking, he said. “But we will probably not utilize the whole lot for parking. There will be some frontage.”

The demolition was approved by a city board Tuesday night. It will likely occur in the spring with Phase I of the Uptown plan starting later, Norton-Smith said.

“It will likely be summer or later just because of how much work is going into the engineering and then lining up construction contractors,” he said of the Uptown plan.

“The current climate with lots of infrastructure dollars and lots of potential projects in the hopper is just making timelines a little bit longer. But we think 2022 is still feasible,” Norton-Smith added.

The demolition is not expected to disrupt traffic, he said.

“Most of the improvements will be on site,” Norton-Smith said. “There’s going to be no equipment that’s going to be on the street. So it will be all on the property.”

The city plans to convert the rear of the property into a valet parking lot “to improve accessibility and accommodate increased demand from new Uptown restaurants,” the Brunch Pub and Manna among them, Centerville records show.

Manna, expected to open this spring, is an upscale dining establishment planned by the owner of a popular Dayton Oregon District restaurant.

Salar Restaurant and Lounge co-owner and executive chef Margot Blondet last year announced plans to renovate and combine 57 and 63 W. Franklin after a Centerville business owner Patrick Beckel stated his intention to apply for an entertainment district.

The entertainment district has since been approved by the state. Centerville officials said they see the designation as a key component for Uptown, as it allows for 15 more liquor permits and is expected to attract more restaurants and businesses.

The Uptown plan calls for improvements in and around Centerville’s historic center at the intersection of Franklin and Main Street, or Ohio 48.

The plan’s six main areas of focus, according to the city, include:

•Improve walkability and reduce traffic congestion;

•Improve parking;

•Schedule and organize new events;

•Focus on business development;

•Develop branding;

•Increase greenspace.

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