Developer Larry Canini answered Gahanna City Council's questions about a partially developed property at 1255 Beecher Crossing North on April 26.

Developer Larry Canini answered Gahanna City Council's questions about a partially developed property at 1255 Beecher Crossing North on April 26.

Council had asked about the property during its April 19 meeting because a partial foundation for an office was installed, but then construction stopped.

Canini returned with answers April 26 and said he developed 200,000 square feet of office space, retail space and condominiums in that area before the economy changed. He said he started the final office building at 1255 Beecher Crossing North with two clients interested in purchasing the space. When the economy changed, the bank that was ready to purchase the building did not continue with the deal. Canini said he wasn't in a position to build a speculative office then and he still isn't.

When contacted by the city about the potential safety hazard of the partial foundation, he said his company installed a fence and put up cones to block off the entrance to the lot. He said he is unaware of any reports of problems at the site.

Canini said his company, whose office is close to the undeveloped site, still is working to finish the development but that it gets more and more difficult in this economic environment, especially with neighboring competition and available office space at Creekside.

Mayor Becky Stinchcomb asked Canini if he has been asked about a potential zoning change at the property next to his. Council already had spoken April 26 about the potential to change the property at 1105 Beecher Crossing North from a limited-overlay suburban office district to limited-overlay multifamily residential for a 10-unit apartment complex.

The project being proposed is called Melissa's House and would be leased to people with mental illnesses.

Neighbors who live in condominiums at the Courtyard at Beecher Crossing have complained about the project. Canini told council April 26 that none of the business owners who purchased office space from him had approached him about the zoning and that he doesn't think the zoning change would negatively affect his ability to develop the office space at 1255 Beecher Crossing North.