Ohio State announced yet another demolition project for campus, this time targeting on-campus businesses Adriatico’s and the University Flower Shop.
The university announced plans on Tuesday to build an office for an optometry clinic and health science faculty located at 11th and Neil avenues. If approved, the construction of the project would demolish Adriatico’s, a popular campus pizza shop, University Flower Shop and Huntington Bank starting September 2018.
The total cost of the 93,000 square-foot office is $28 million. According to Board of Trustees documents, its funding comes from university and auxiliary funds.
University Flower Shop and Adriatico’s have long been part of campus. The flower shop has been on campus since 1932. Adriatico’s has been on campus for about thirty years.
“We kind of knew this day was coming,” said Rick Spangle, the husband of Christine Spangle, who owns University Flower Shop. “We thought it was going to be a few more years, but you never know.”
Spangle said Ohio State bought each property about 25 years ago.
Spangle said the flower shop and Adriatico’s were notified a few months ago of the university’s plans to demolish. He said each business is working to relocate somewhere more centrally located, but still near medical campus.
“We view ourselves as part of the fabric of the university,” said Greg Fortney, Adriatico’s owner. “We have every intention to continue being part of that fabric.”
Fortney said Adriatico’s current location feels like home. After the demolition, he said he hopes the new location is “as close to our home as possible.”
Spangle said the plan is for the flower shop to move into a new location — which he hopes is next to Adriatico’s new spot — the day the 11th and Neil demolition begins.
“We’re sad to see a tradition like we’ve had for such a long time end,” Spangle said. “But, [the university] has to have space to be able to attract talent. I don’t think the university looks at themselves competing with other state colleges. They look to themselves as an international talent competing across the globe.”
Details of new locations for the businesses aren’t known yet, as the 11th and Neil project is subject to the Board of Trustees’ approval this week.
“I’ve been here 30-some years and we’ve become very fond of this area and this location,” Fortney said. “It’s not something you ever want to face.”
“It’s hard, right? You see all of the old stuff go down,” Spangle said. “You know that some day when you’re in a building like you’re in, it’s coming down.