Twenty-eight apartments will be added to the Landmark Lofts development, the mixed-use residential and retail development planned at Cemetery Road and Franklin Street in Hilliard.
Members of the Hilliard Planning and Zoning Commission voted 4-0 Jan. 9 to approve the development plan for the apartments on the 0.6-acre parcel that currently is the site of Sunbelt Rentals.
The Sunbelt Rentals parcel is adjacent to the 5.8 acres approved for Landmark Lofts in June. The developer, Buckeye KRG, wanted the land to be part of the original development plan, but it could not reach a timely agreement with Sunbelt Rentals.
The two parties struck a deal several weeks later in August; the parcel was added to the development and Sunbelt Rentals will relocate to Northwest Parkway.
Lisa McLaughlin, a resident of Norwich Street, where the back lots of homes abut the proposed development, criticized the commission for allowing the additional parcel to be developed strictly as residential.
"There should be some businesses in that (new) building, too," McLaughlin said.
Glen Dugger, an attorney representing Buckeye KRG, said parking constraints made any retail use unfeasible.
"There just isn't enough parking at the site for there to be any retail use on the first floor," Dugger said.
Four buildings on the 5.8-acre site will have retail businesses on the ground floor with apartments on the second, third and, when applicable, fourth floors.
Buckeye KRG originally proposed 181 apartments for the site, but the number was reduced to 170 when a floor was removed from one of the four buildings.
The additional building will raise the number of apartments to 198, more than originally proposed, yet fewer than the maximum number of 206 that could be allowed under the applicable comprehensive development plan for the area, according to City Planner John Talentino.
Aside from the apartments and retail development proposed for Landmark Lofts, an inoperable grain elevator on the land will be converted into a 7,000-square-foot community center, and Luxair Drive and Franklin Street will be realigned at an unsignalized intersection.