Silver Celebration: 2000-2001

Chloe Teasley
February 2000

Donatos (February 2000)

Buying and Selling

When Jim Grote sold the pizza chain he founded as a college dropout to McDonald's for a reported $150 million, he said the selling point for him was that the fast-food behemoth's values were similar to his own. Once the sale was completed on July 30, 1999, the effect McDonald's would have on Donatos was yet to be seen. What no one knew was that the company would grow too rapidly to sustain new stores under McDonald's leadership, and it was rumored McDonald's was thinking of shutting down Donatos. Four short years later, the Grotes would buy Donatos back again.

Campus Gateway(March 2000)

The Right to Take

The revitalization effort for the east side of OSU's campus hadn't yet begun in 2000. In fact, it was a divisive topic around town because of eminent domain—the law allowing for forced eviction. A recorded roundtable discussion addressed the problem and included input from real estate lawyers; the president of Campus Partners, OSU's development arm; and a property owner facing eviction. Today, the Gateway sits proudly on the edge of campus, and another plan called the 15+HIGH Master Plan includes an arts plaza for the area around 15th Avenue and N. High Street. The proposed corner also would have a new public space called University Square.

Cameron Mitchell (June 2000)

Fork Wars

Cameron Mitchell once worked for—and was fired from—55 Restaurant Group, which was responsible for some of the hottest dining concepts in town in the 1970s and '80s. But by 2000, the popularity was dwindling for 55 and growing for Mitchell's CM Restaurants, the first of which was Cameron's on Dublin-Granville Road. As CM Restaurants continued to expand, 55 Restaurant Group imploded soon after this article and closed its final two places in September 2000. Now, Cameron Mitchell Restaurants has 12 concepts with 32 locations in 12 states.

Giant Eagle (August 2000)

Giant Eagle Attacks

Giant Eagle entered Columbus' already-saturated grocery market alongside Kroger, Big Bear and Meijer with an aggressive plan to open six stores by the end of 2001 and a focus on service and selection rather than on low prices. The other grocers, including Big Bear, weren't worried. Four years later, Big Bear would close the doors of its last store. And more recently Giant Eagle itself closed three Columbus locations.

Northeast Columbus (February 2001)

Urban Renaissance

Adam Troy and Keith Key used their company, Omni Management Group, to revitalize northeast Columbus. The area between Stelzer Road and Cassady Avenue along Agler Road received their attention. Their method was this: find a tenant who wants to reside in the area—a service provider or healthcare provider for the underserved—thenbuild something to house it. During the time of the article, one of Omni's major projects was CityGate Business Park. Now, the Northeast Side is still a revitalization focus. Recently, the city Department of Neighborhoods was installed in South Linden.