GALION — City and Crawford County officials, along with residents, gathered for a ground-breaking ceremony Friday morning for the new apartment complex “The Greens at Carter” on Carter Drive, north of the Drug Mart plaza.
The complex is being constructed by Five Galion LLC, owned by Canton-based real estate developer Grant Giltz. The project is to build a $4.4 million, 90-unit complex for moderate to upscale income clientele. Giltz also built the Drug Mart plaza on Carter Drive.
Giltz was on hand Friday and said it was a big day for the Five Galion company.
“We’re breaking ground today on 36 apartment units, two buildings consisting of 18 units each with the combination of one- and two-bedroom, a full bath, nine-foot tall ceilings … everything you’d want to see in a nice apartment community,” Giltz said. “This location, we feel, is the heart of Galion. It’s right near all the school buildings, shopping, close to the highway and the newly widened Portland Way.
”I can’t say enough thanks to everyone who participated to get us to where we are today. Everyone from city officials to the schools systems, to the building and zoning, the mayor. Everybody who has been behind it, like the chamber and the economic development group. We look forward to complete our project and we hope to have it complete by June (2020).”
At a May council meeting, it was noted that the construction starting this month is the first phase of the building project, with the rest of the apartment units expected to be completed by the fall of 2021.
Mayor Tom O’Leary said he remembers when the Drug Mart plaza was being built and there was some skepticism on whether or not it would be an asset to the community. He agreed there have also been some skeptics when it comes to the construction of the apartment complex.
“I hope (this construction) silences a lot of the critics and skeptics about whether or not these kinds of investments will be made, and can be made and be successful,” O’Leary said. “I’m confident that this is going to be a real asset for the community. We’re really lucky the Giltz family had the confidence in us as a community, and here they are investing millions more into our community.”
He said the Drug Mart plaza enhanced property values in the neighborhood.
“There is no evidence to the contrary,” he said. “And I’m absolutely convinced that this kind of investment will enhance everybody’s property value.”
O’Leary said he’s had conversations with school officials, as well as those from Avita, and both have said they believe many of their employees — who now live out of town — will be drawn to the new apartment complex.
Gary Frankhouse, with The Crawford Partnership, said a big part of how the new apartment complex came to fruition was due to a study completed about a year ago.
“So the Danter Study, a Columbus company, we collectively hired them — meaning Crawford Partnership, the commissioners, city of Galion, City of Bucyrus and the Village of Crestline — and had a study done on Galion, Bucyrus and Crestline and it was focused on housing.”
He said what was found out was all three communities were missing the moderate to upscale, multi-family housing, and said this construction will help out in that area.
Speaking about the traffic concerns brought up earlier, Frankhouse pointed out Portland Way has already been widened south of the construction and come 2022, Portland Way will be widened north of the apartment complex all the way to Route 30.
“And the traffic light going up at Brandt Road will help too,” he said.