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Supreme Court's Slots Ruling Clouds Grove City Downtown Redevelopment

Monday's state supreme court ruling has clouded a proposed Grove City downtown redevelopment project a little further.

The Lumberyard project would have been a 74,000-square-foot mix of restaurants and other retail stores plus a parking garage in downtown Grove City. But when the adjacent Beulah Park horseracing track announced it would build a casino to house 2500 slot machines, the city said it would consider reducing the size of the $29 million Lumberyard project. Planners believe that traffic from the gaming facility's 24/7 operations would spill over into downtown. Grove City's development director Chuck Boso.

"Beulah Park sits about a thousand feet from this site - our lumberyard site - and they have an entrance from Beulah Park to there," Boso says. "We were looking at what impact could it have on our site in terms of not only pedestrian but vehicular traffic."

But the supreme court ruling leaves things up in the air, at least for the short term. Now that the slot machine issue might go before voters in a referendum, it puts the city in more tentative position. Boso says Grove City will wait to see what Beulah Park plans to do.

"If they chose to march on in that planning then we'll be interacting with them," Boso says. "If they chose to step back and do nothing then probably at this point we'll all probably be on a wait-and-see mode."