It's been two months since Dublin's planning and zoning commission took its first look at a proposed $100-million, 45-acre medical complex on Riverside Drive near state Route 161.

It's been two months since Dublin's planning and zoning commission took its first look at a proposed $100-million, 45-acre medical complex on Riverside Drive near state Route 161.

After getting their second look Aug. 21, commission members said they saw some improvements, but told the applicants they still had a long way to go.

"Quite frankly I am very disappointed," said commission vice chair Chris Amorose Groomes. "This would not blend in at all with Riverside Drive to the north and south. The corridor this needs to be associated with, in my mind, is Riverside Drive. I think this is pretty and nicely done. There is architectural interest. My comments aren't to the negative of this drawing, it's to the fit. I don't think Victorian fits in Dublin."

As part of the medical complex proposed by Vrable Healthcare Cos. and Stratford Cos., the retirement facility would look like 19th and 20th century row houses, with each wing reminiscent of a Victorian mansion. The architect changed the building materials to primarily brick and stone and added details such as cornices and balconies.

"Look at Dublin Methodist Hospital," commission member Kevin Walter said to offer an example to the applicants. "There is a building that is large with various components to it that has a very unique style to it. It has some ability to tie the medical office on one side to where you can pick up the patients on the other side. They've used a variety of materials and profiles and fašades. But they managed to pick up the themes that tie them into the community."

The proposed development, 6720 Riverside Drive, is divided into three sections that include four, two-story medical office buildings totaling 76,000 square feet, a 75,000-square-foot, two-story skilled nursing facility and a four-story, 200-unit independent living retirement facility with an underground parking garage.

The project also incorporates the Digger & Finch pub and a greenway connection to the Sycamore Ridge Park, which developers want the city to own and control. The independent living facility, which the applicant's attorney, Ben Hale Jr., has said will cost $300,000 per unit to construct, would be completed first, followed by the $10-million nursing facility and the $50-million office buildings over a period of several years.

Commission member Ted Saneholtz said he liked the use and considered it a nice addition to the community.

"I do think there are a lot of positives," he said. "This is an overall plan with some tweaking needed, but it makes sense for the area both economically and trying to create more pedestrian activity."

Commission members raised concerns about the project being too dense, too colorful and about the height. They told the applicant the project had too many different architectural themes without any real consistency. The commission directed city staff to continue working with the applicant and to return for another informal review at a date to be determined.

Commission member Rich Taylor said the building looked like an old psychiatric hospital, while Walter said portions of the project reminded him of the Continent in Columbus and the Delaware County bank headquarters.

"I really thought this was going to look like the Dublin Arts Council," said commission member Flite Freimann, "or like some of the other homes along Riverside Drive, just bigger. I think this is really pretty, but I don't think this building is appropriate for this location."

"I'd like to see a little more interpretation and a little less literal," Taylor said. "I don't think there is any reason the architecture can't be reminiscent of an earlier time period but can still be 21st century."