Hilliard Northwest News

Landmark Lofts developers to meet with residents March 7

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Developers of Landmark Lofts, a residential and retail project proposed at Cemetery Road and Franklin Street, are scheduled to meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 7, with a neighborhood steering committee to review revised plans for the development.

The meeting is being held in advance of the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission's March 14 meeting, where developers are expected to formally present the development plan.

The developers from Kohr Royer Griffith asked for a postponement at the Feb. 14 meeting of the Planning and Zoning Commission in an attempt to appease area residents who remain opposed to the nature and scale of Landmark Lofts. The developers, city officials and steering committee members met twice in January to discuss the proposal in an effort to reach an agreement.

Hilliard City Council members will have the final ruling in the matter, accepting or overturning the recommendation of the planning and zoning commission.

Attorney Glen Dugger, Mayor Don Schonhardt and several other city officials and members of the Landmark Lofts Neighborhood Steering Committee are expected to attend the March 7 meeting at at the Northwest Franklin County Historical Society Village Museum, 4162 Columbia St., next to the Franklin County Fairgrounds.

Ben Buoni, chairman of the steering committee, said he is not aware of specific changes committee members might see, but he hopes their concerns have been taken into account.

Economic Development Director David Meeks said he didn't know what the developers would present, but previous discussions included lowering the elevations of the four buildings on the site and moving the development to at least 600 feet from the back lots of Norwich Street residents.

The number of apartments and four-story buildings is not expected to change, Meeks said.

Schonhardt said he planned to attend the meeting and likewise had not yet seen what developers are to unveil at the March 7 meeting.

City officials previously said the residential component of the development would attract tenants that will provide a customer base not only for the retail outlets and restaurants within the same development, but also for Old Hilliard, which will be connected to Landmark Lofts via an extended recreation path among the development, Old Hilliard and the Heritage Trail.

Plans include multiple four-story buildings with about 185 one- and two-bedroom apartments on the second, third and fourth floors. Ground-floor development would consist of retail shops and restaurants, likely including the relocated Starliner Diner.

The inoperable grain elevator on the site would be converted into a community center for tenants of the apartment buildings and would include a pool, gym and rental office. The first floor would be available for public use.

The $15 million to $18 million project also would align Luxair Drive with Franklin Street at an unsignalized intersection.

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