Concerns given for Harmar project

It’s been a week since the City of Marietta was given details of a proposed $8-$10 million development project in Harmar.

There were dozens of social media posts from people, mostly excited about the project. But a few had concerns that could be addressed as details of the project unfold.

Developers of the Marietta Riverside project recently told Marietta City Council approximately 100 jobs will be created, as the property at Franklin and Putnam streets in Harmer is proposed to include a 14,000 square foot office building, where the Par Mar Oil headquarters will be relocated; retail space; a restaurant; convenience store; and a Dunkin Donuts.

“I do appreciate that this will bring jobs to the area,” one poster said. “However, I have a feeling most of them won’t be at the level of employment required to support a family. I hope many of them are.”

Another posted “there are a lot of places currently hiring in Marietta and so job creation isn’t the only factor to consider, in my opinion.”

“I think the structure’s appearance is important in regards to the city’s historical presence/tourism, etc. Marietta City probably already has building codes that take into account our historical integrity,” she noted. “Whatever the codes for Front Street should apply to Harmar, in my opinion.”

Warren Township resident Tammy Morrow, 59, said she doesn’t live in Harmar, but she drives through it every day. She said she didn’t realize Par Mar was locally owned, but she planned to support them if the proposal is approved by city council.

“I hope they don’t get excited and forget about gentrification,” Morrow said. “Can they make it look historic to match the downtown historic vibe? It would add to the neighborhood.”

She said the look of the building wouldn’t just impact Harmar residents.

I think if you sit in Muskingum Park, it will be really visible from the park,” she said. “You don’t need to be on the west side to be impacted from the view and the city.”

Morrow added she was also worried about the impact on Harris Westside Carryout, located a few blocks away at 137 Franklin St.

When contacted Monday, Josh Harris, co-owner of Harris Westside Carryout, declined to comment. A call to co-owner Jackson Harris was not returned.

Marietta resident Penny Daugherty recently sold a home that will be demolished as part of the project.

“We sold our house of 33 years at 410 Franklin St. to Par Mar back in February so they could move on with this project,” Daugherty said.

“I think Par Mar will be a great addition to the west side. They need something over there. The property owner, Milo Ritton, is a very kind and gracious person and is willing to help the west side in any way he can.”

She said she had lived on the west side her entire life until the sale.

“I feel in that whole time, the west side has always been left on the back burner,” Daugherty said. “The city had all kinds of money to beautify Front Street, etc., but never the west side.”

She said if it weren’t for Main Street West Chair Jackson Patterson, 4th Ward Councilman Geoff Schenkel and other volunteers, it would still be neglected.

“Then there’s all of the stereotypes that have nothing good to say about the west side,” she continued. “I have met some of the most humble and kindest people from the west side. I do think (the project) is going to be very good for the west side.”

Patterson said as a resident, he hopes the land developers are willing to work with the neighborhood and build relationships with the community.

“I think if everyone is on the same page working together as a team, it’ll go great,” he said.


At a Glance

¯ Harmar residents have voiced concerns about the proposed project.

¯ Concerns include building design and quality of jobs created.

¯ Most were excited about the development.

¯ The Marietta Riverside Project will include a 14,000 square foot office building and restaurant, and a convenience store with Dunkin Donuts.

¯ Par Mar Oil will relocate headquarters to the property.

Source: Times research.


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