A significant driver behind the City’s three-year master planning process, which transpired 1998-2001, was to set the stage for maximizing future redevelopment of our limited commercial space while preserving the community’s unique residential nature. The resulting rezoning of key business districts into Planned Mixed-Use Districts (PMUDs) ensured that as redevelopment occurred it would need to be more dense in nature and include a mix of uses that would provide valuable amenities for residents, alternate housing options, and expand professional office uses to maximize revenue generating potential for the City.
Lane Avenue is one of the districts to have received this zoning designation, and in recent years we have seen the area begin its transformation. As part of the City’s efforts to set the stage for economic development-focused reinvestment, a portion of Lane Avenue on the southeast side of Lane and North Star Road was annexed into Upper Arlington in 2005, and much of the corridor was designated as a Community Entertainment District—by voter approval—in 2012, providing opportunity for additional restaurant establishments with liquor permits, such as Hudson 29 at The Lane.
All signs indicate the level of activity on Lane Avenue is about to skyrocket, with two major projects hoping to break ground this fall.
This project has been in the public eye since 2016, with two previous development plans reviewed and approved by the Board of Zoning and Planning (BZAP). The developer team now includes Continental Real Estate, and the proposed project would sit on a majority of the land annexed into the City to the east of North Star.
It includes ground floor retail, restaurant and bank uses totaling 27,000 square feet. There would be 218 apartments on the 2nd-6th floors that wrap around a parking garage with 843 spaces. To the center of the project, an additional five stories are designated for 133,000 square feet of office space identified for a national bank.
The developers plan to annex the apartment building into Upper Arlington from Clinton Township, and the City of Columbus has indicated a willingness to dedicate the portion of Lane Avenue in front of the project to Upper Arlington.
The revised Final Development Plan was reviewed and approved by BZAP in June. Most recently, Mr. Paul Kreitler of Doone Road filed an Appeal to BZAP’s decision with City Council. Shortly thereafter, the project team filed a Motion to Dismiss the Appeal. City Council is scheduled to hear the Motion to Dismiss at a Special City Council Meeting beginning at 6:30 pm, Monday, July 9. Should City Council deny the Motion to Dismiss, a new hearing date for the Appeal will be scheduled.
The City is currently in discussions with the developer relative to a proposed Development Agreement that would encompass both financial considerations and the level of City participation for public infrastructure improvements. Work continues to craft an outline of an agreement that would be mutually beneficial to all parties, and that would then be brought before City Council for its review. Tied to this ongoing effort is the City’s review of possible funding options for whatever level of public infrastructure improvements might be agreed upon.
Lane Avenue Development
Another notable, evolving project has been back on BZAP’s agenda in recent weeks. Developers of the first mixed-use development and hotel on Lane Avenue—Crawford Hoying—have taken over the project previously led by J Liu of Shanghai Enterprises. In May, they received approval of a Preliminary Development Plan that is reflective of many months spent developing and adjusting plans based on outreach to residents in the surrounding neighborhood.
Phase One includes a five-story, 116-room TownePlace Suites hotel facing Lane Avenue, with two condominium buildings behind it, along Westmont Boulevard. One building is four stories with four units, the other three stories with four units. Parking is located behind the housing units, and one single family home that was part of the original proposal will now remain in place, further expanding the transitional feel from the hotel into the neighborhood.
After working closely with residents to craft a plan that would be more sensitive to the adjacent residential neighborhood, the developer is hopeful a referundum on the rezoning of several properties for the previous plan will be withdrawn so that this phase can begin construction early fall for completion by the 2019 football season.
Phase Two—located on the west side of Westmont Boulevard—requires the rezoning of several properties from R-1c (One-Family Residence) to Planned Mixed Use District. This phase includes a five-story, mixed-use building that would house a J Liu restaurant on the ground floor, 20,000 square feet of office space on the ground and 2nd floors, and residential units on the 3rd-5th floors, with a 248 parking garage wrapped by two-story townhomes to the north, again providing an appropriate transition into the neighborhood.
BZAP reviewed the Phase Two rezoning application in May and recommended approval to City Council. Council then voted in favor of the rezoning at its June 11 meeting. Pending BZAP review of the Final Development Plan, the developer hopes to start Phase Two construction this fall, with completion in the spring of 2020.
If you have questions about either project, please contact our Planning Division, at firstname.lastname@example.org.