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Browning on Business: Columbus getting Starbucks


William Browning

William Browning



William Browning



Columbus is getting a Starbucks, a Kay Jewelers and another as-yet-to-be-named retail business. 


All three will be housed in a single building being constructed in a now-vacant lot in the 1900 block of Highway 45 North. The spot is right between Replays and the C-Spire building, directly across from an Arbys. 


Kenny Wiegel, building official with the city, confirmed Wednesday that permits for phase one construction of the building were issued roughly two weeks ago. Dirt work has begun. 


Columbus developer Mark Castleberry sold the spot where the businesses are going, which is less than an acre in size, to Mike Rozier, a Carroll County-based developer, in November. 


In an interview with The Dispatch this morning, Rozier said the building will be approximately 6,000 square feet. The Starbucks will have a drive-thru. 


Moving on: Could a restaurant open on The Island? 




Robert Rhett, a local Realtor, said this week that he and his siblings have had extensive remodeling done on a building in the area with the hopes that it will one day be a restaurant. The 2,000 square foot structure, owned by Rhett Partners, is located on Island Road, just west of Plaza Motel. Rhett said he envisions a hamburger eatery, barbecue joint, or sports-themed bar where people can watch SEC sports. He is open to anything, however. A family-friendly place would fit in nicely with the nearby Riverwalk and Columbus Soccer Complex, Rhett said. 


The interior has been gutted and cleaned. The exterior has been upgraded. A new roof is in place. The building still needs a kitchen and a floor plan layout, but Rhett and company are waiting on a buyer to tell them specifically what they want done before proceeding with more construction. 


Three or four potential buyers have looked at the location but nothing is set in stone. Rhett is still fielding offers. 


For nearly a decade there have been rumors of Kroger expanding its grocery store in Kroger Plaza on Highway 45 North. Late last year, Kroger purchased the entire building it is housed in. That fueled the rumors. 


The Dispatch reached out to the Cincinnati-based grocery chain this week and asked what can be expected. 


Joe Bell, manager of marketing and public affairs for Kroger Delta Division, said there are no current plans to expand the grocery store. Bell added Kroger owns and operates 60-something shopping centers around the country. "That is part of our business model," he explained. The recent purchase should not be viewed as an indication of the chain's immediate plans. 


However, Bell said "things change and someday we may do it." Even so, nothing will take place in the next "two to four years," he said. 


Going downtown, the building at 513 Main St. appears close to opening as a new business. 


In October, Dan Bennett, a local eye doctor, and his wife, Kim, purchased the 3,000 square foot property. Renovations have been ongoing since. Earlier this week a sign hung in front of it reading, "The Southern, a social venue." 


Cards available at the building stated, "Now booking for 2014. Full service venue for your social gatherings. Seating for approximately one-hundred." 


Kim Bennett previously told The Dispatch the business will be available for people wanting to use it for special events: bridesmaids luncheons, corporate meetings, wedding parties, etc. She did not respond to messages seeking comment this week. An official opening date is unknown. 


The location most recently housed Continental Market & Bistro, which closed last year. 


Lastly, there is a place in Leigh Mall called Honey Baked Ham and Cafe. It sells what you would imagine: whole, fully-cooked hams. It is a business based in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and the Leigh Mall location is only open seasonally -- around Thanksgiving and around Easter, for example. 


The business has decided to open for Mother's Day this year. It is open from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday.


William Browning was managing editor for The Dispatch until June 2016.



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