A Canton developer is looking to build an assisted-living facility on vacant land on the Northwest Side.

A Canton developer is looking to build an assisted-living facility on vacant land on the Northwest Side.

Lemmon & Lemmon Inc. wants to take over two parcels totaling 9 acres at the northwest corner of Snouffer and Smoky Row roads.

The project calls 100 to 110 units in the assisted-facility portion of the plan and 56 luxury apartments, which would be restricted to those 55 years old or older.

"It is a segment of the housing market and healthcare market that is growing," said Bill Lemmon, president of the Northeast Ohio firm, which is the managing partner of an investment group that includes some local interests.

Lemmon's company also owns Parkside Village, a 135-unit facility that combines full-service and independent living, which opened last week in Westerville.

The latest project has met with the tacit approval of the Far Northwest Coalition, which hasn't formally voted on the matter.

A rezoning application is expected to be filed with the city of Columbus in July, Lemmon said.

Construction won't begin until next year and will take about 18 months, he said.

A year ago, local developers Nick King and Michael Kenney had proposed a 270-unit apartment complex on the site, something that didn't sit well with neighbors, said Rich Herner, a member of the FNWC.

Herner said residents complained about the potential impact on the roads, among other things.

It also would have required the razing of two houses directly to the west, something not necessary with the assisted-living facility.

Last summer, the apartment proposal was dropped.

John Best, president of the FNWC, said the assisted-living facility is a big improvement over the apartments.

"First of all the property has to fit in with the surrounding development," he said, "and the density is important."

And, because most of the tenants are retirees, they won't be burdening the already busy roadways, particularly at rush hour.

"They come and go as they please," Best said.

And it appears there's a market for such a facility in the neighborhood, Best said.

"I think it's going to fill a community need," he said.

"I think it's in a desirable location too."