Officials from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. will compromise with residents of the New Albany Links and Upper Clarenton subdivisions on landscaping and screening for the company's new data center.

Officials from Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. will compromise with residents of the New Albany Links and Upper Clarenton subdivisions on landscaping and screening for the company's new data center.

Representatives of the company met Oct. 27 with seven residents and a landscape architect representing them to address concerns about the facility, which will be built northwest of the two subdivisions.

"We were open to the residents' concerns and agreed to make some of the changes that they want," said Liz Christopher, spokeswoman for Nationwide.

A New Albany resident attending the meeting said much was accomplished in the effort to find a middle ground.

"Everyone worked together to arrive at solutions to neighbors' concerns about the impact of the facility on surrounding property values. We made progress in the areas of landscaping, fencing and lighting," said James Lewis of the New Albany Links subdivision.

Katherine Meyer, deputy community development director, called it a "fantastic meeting with everybody around the table and talking."

Nationwide has plans to build an 112,000-square-foot data center that will be 32 feet tall on 45 acres north of New Albany Road East, between Souder and Dean Farm roads. It will be a concrete and metal building, and one part will have no windows. Nationwide officials said the machinery inside would store much of the company's critical information, which is one of the reasons why the building must have an "anti-climb" fence surrounding it.

Many of the neighbors who live near the site raised concerns about the data center's effect on their property values during the Oct. 18 planning commission meeting and the Oct. 19 village council meeting. The planning commission agreed to table Nationwide's final development plan for the project until the Nov. 15 meeting after company officials expressed their intention to meet with the concerned residents.

During the Oct. 27 meeting, Christopher said Nationwide officials agreed to increase the sizes of trees that will be planted between the building and residences. They also agreed to increase the percentage of evergreens that are to be planted, which would better screen the facility since deciduous trees lose leaves in the winter. The number of mounds used to screen the building also would be increased, she said.

"Obviously, we're committed to being good neighbors," Christopher said.

According to Lewis, and his wife, Ona, Nationwide's plans will be changed for the Nov. 15 planning commission meeting "to better screen the project, reduce the visibility of lighting and to improve the appearance of the land surrounding the data center."

Christopher said Nationwide would be ready to request a vote from the planning commission at the November meeting.