Dublin Villager

Bridge Park East

Preliminary plans for 30.9 acres approved


Preliminary plans for seven blocks of mixed-use development on about 30 acres on the east side of Riverside Drive north of state Route 161 won city approval last week.

A basic development plan and preliminary plat for 30.9 acres of mixed-use development in the Bridge Street District's Scioto River corridor that will go by the name Bridge Park East was unanimously approved by Dublin Planning and Zoning Commission members last week.

The basic development plan "sets the tone for public-realm streets, block layout and lots for development," said Dublin Planner Rachel Ray. "It's the first of several more detailed plans."

The basic development plan approved by commission members lays out plans for three new streets, seven blocks and private drives.

"Tonight is more about the big picture: the location of the buildings (and) location of the streets," said Nelson Yoder, applicant representative.

The blocks will be a part of the shopping corridor planned for the area, carrying a mixture of retail, restaurants, office space and residential.

The development is aiming for a walkable, urban environment and includes on-street parallel parking, large sidewalks that could accommodate outdoor dining and a cycle track.

A few people voiced concerns, however, about including a cycle track in the plans.

"I'm not sure putting a cycle track in this area is a good idea," said Amy Salay, council representative to the commission.

Salay said a cycle track might not mix with an environment of people walking, eating and window shopping in the area.

"We want people to slow down and not be riding by fast through this area," she said.

Yoder said the cycle track on each side of roads such as John Shields Parkway, pushes the buildings further apart, which is in contrast with the urban environment they're going for.

The buildings in this area of the Bridge Street District could be as much as 135 to 140 feet apart; most historic areas have buildings about 90 feet apart, Yoder said.

Others, however, supported the cycle track.

"The notion of eliminating the cycle track I can't disagree with more," said John Hardt a commission member.

"This district was supposed to accommodate a wide variety of transportation modes ... . The point of the cycle track is to generate safety," Hardt said.

"I think the cycle track will be used more for families," said Todd Zimmerman, a commission member. "The hardcore riders are going to ride on the street."

Despite some concerns on sidewalk width and the cycle track, basic plans were approved, although it is only the first step in the process.

The next step for Bridge Park East would be development plan review and platting, followed by applications for a basic site plan and site plan review for buildings, all of which will go before the Planning and Zoning Commission.

Dublin's economic development department is also working on a development agreement with Bridge Park East developer Crawford Hoying and will go before City Council soon, Ray said.