Booster

Restaurant, retail set for dormant High St. plot

Area commission signs off on variances at 3132 N. High St.; work there could begin this summer

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A long-vacant parcel at 3132 N. High St. is slated for development as a combination bank, retail space and restaurant with outdoor seating.

Clintonville Area Commission members last week gave their blessing to the variances required to make the project work after hearing from a civil engineer and architect on behalf of the Dublin-based development firm Crawford Hoying.

If city officials also sign off on allowing parking on the side of the planned building and reducing the number of required spaces from 38 to 34, construction should begin in July or August and take six to seven months to complete.

The multiuse structure will be about 7,000 square feet, said architect Dave Kerr of Hilliard.

Dana K.J. Bagwell, chairwoman of the area commission's zoning and variance committee, said the members of her panel had approved the applicant's request, but with conditions that landscaping and ornamental fencing be used to screen the parking area.

"I think that lot has been sitting vacant for far too long," Bagwell said.

The main access to the project will be off California Avenue, Dublin-based civil engineer Rickard Alan Sicker told commission members. Access to North High Street, in order to accommodate a drive-up teller window in the bank portion of the structure, will be one-way out, Sicker said.

The main entrances to the three-sectioned building for customers will be off North High Street, Kerr said, but employees and deliveries would arrive at the back of the structure.

No information was offered on the name of the bank, the type of store or nature of the restaurant, except that Sicker said the latter would probably have outdoor seating.

The vote in favor of the request was 6-0 with Chairman Daniel B. Miller abstaining.

Crawford Hoying is owned by two Ohio State University graduates, one with a little more name recognition than the other.

That would be Bob Hoying, starting quarterback for the Buckeyes from 1992-95, who went on to a seven-year career in the NFL with the Philadelphia Eagles and Oakland Raiders.

His partner, Brent Crawford, "decided to borrow $1,500 from his girlfriend's grandmother in order to purchase his first house on campus" while he was still an undergraduate at OSU, according to the firm's website.

"He rented the house to his friends while he stayed there rent-free," the site states. "This concept appealed to Brent and he purchased another house on campus three months later. Brent's passion for acquisitions and property management grew, and by the time he graduated from Ohio State, he owned 30 units, which consisted of single-family homes and duplexes."

Crawford and Hoying started their development company in 1999, which since has grown from a single apartment community and fewer than five employees to 25 communities with more than 200 employees.

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