Development Explodes Around Columbus Casino

on Friday, 24 August 2012.

Whether someone is in favor or against the casino, the financial benefit for the area can't be denied.

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- There's a flurry of construction, redevelopment, and change going on around the site of the new casino in Columbus.Just east of the site on Broad Street, a McDonald's is being built to take the place of another McDonald's.The company wants its newest design for the expected crowds.

On the other end of Broad Street, Big Lots and a Value City Furniture location are getting ready to open.In the middle, between them, Bobby Layman Chevrolet is undergoing massive rebuilding and putting in a new showroom."It’s a great thing,” said Linda Layman. “It's cleaning up and I think that in the next six months to a year you're going to see a different West Broad Street."

Whether someone is in favor or against the casino, the financial benefit for the area can't be denied.Directly across the street from the casino, TJ's Country Place doubled its employees and added another 50 seats.It spent more than $800,000 in renovations to get ready for what is expected to be a financial boom to the area.

"If done properly, we can attract another 3,000 jobs up here," said Auto dealer Chris Haydocy. He was ready to move the dealership his family has had for nearly 60 years. Now, he's staying.He said the value of his property has increased 25 percent in the last year.

"We're just at the very tip of the iceberg if the revitalization that happened,” he said. "I can count seven businesses up and down Broad Street that survived this last decade and now they have invested or they're planning on building. Investing millions of dollars. It's small business, big business."

And then there's the elephant in the room: the Westland Mall. The owner of the Westland Mall said he's working with the county to come up with a development plan for the one-million square feet of space. But he also said it won't be a mall any longer.He's not ready to say what is on the table, but said to expect some announcements in 2013.He also said the Westland Mall redevelopment could create more than 2,000 jobs.