The Gahanna Planning Commission heaped praise onto Wagenbrenner Development Inc. on Nov. 16 before approving a final development plan, design review and variance for The Commons at Clark Hall.

The Gahanna Planning Commission heaped praise onto Wagenbrenner Development Inc. on Nov. 16 before approving a final development plan, design review and variance for The Commons at Clark Hall.

The Commons is a proposed mixed retail and restaurant development at 73-109 N. Hamilton Road and is scheduled to open in fall 2012. It will include two single-story buildings that will house nine to 12 retailers.

"Building A" will be 14,081 square feet, with a height of 30 feet. "Building B" will be 8,077 square feet, with a height of 30 feet.

The buildings will feature four-sided architecture in an art-deco style. Space also has been allocated for patio dining along North Hamilton.

The landscaping plan includes both perennial and annual plantings, and several types of herbs have been incorporated.

Planning and zoning administrator Bonnie Gard said issues that had been raised in prior meetings have been addressed, including steps to satisfy the Franklin Soil and Water Conservation District regarding soil and erosion control. She said a variance request to allow Building A to be set back 25 feet from the Hamilton Road right of way would be necessary to maintain a reasonable slope along the building frontage.

Gard said the development would be a "beautiful addition" to the Hamilton Road corridor.

Jason Zadeh, Wagenbrenner development director, told the commission earlier this month that negotiations were ongoing with a national coffee chain to open in the development. He said Gahanna students had been asked what businesses they would like there.

Businesses that have expressed interest in The Commons include Panera, Chipotle, Five Guys Burgers and Fries, DiBella's Subs, Firehouse Subs, Steak Escape, FedEx Office, Radio Shack, AT&T, Starbucks Coffee and Tim Hortons.

Commission member David Thom complimented Wagenbrenner for one of the best presentations he has seen.

"You had every 'i' dotted, every 't' crossed," he said. "You did a magnificent job. This may not be the largest retail application, but it's very unique. I think the community will love the results."

Thom thanked Wagenbrenner and the Gahanna-Jefferson Board of Education for their efforts.

The G-J board on Sept. 8 approved an 85-year land lease for acreage beside Clark Hall , making way for the $5.9-million development.

District treasurer Julio Valladares has estimated the project could bring an additional 70 jobs to Gahanna and an annual payroll of $2 million, thus generating an anticipated $30,000 annually in income-tax revenues.

Commission member Bob Westwood agreed with Thom about Wagenbrenner.

"You did your due diligence and looked at quality, not quantity," he said.

Commission member Jennifer Price echoed her colleagues' comments.

"Thanks to your whole team for a tremendous job," she said. "This will be an asset to the community."