A new chapter is being written at the former Borders bookstore on Kenny Road.

A new chapter is being written at the former Borders bookstore on Kenny Road.

A fitness facility and tavern are in the process of signing leases for the site, which has been vacant a little more than a year.

The plan is to split up the 21,000-square-foot building into three or four separate storefronts, said Jeff Mattingly, vice president of R.G. Kennedy & Associates, which is leasing the building.

Part of the plan calls for removing 5,000 to 6,000 square feet from the west side of the building to add about 30 more parking spaces.

The fitness club and tavern will be on opposite sides of the building, Mattingly said.

He wouldn't name the tenants because their leases had not been signed as of late last week.

Mattingly said he doesn't believe the property needs any variances.

The new tenants should be open in six to nine months, he said.

He said the site has excellent visibility, with 26,000 cars drive by it each day on Henderson Road.

The neighborhood has stellar demographics and a younger population living in high-density developments such as Governor's Square, Fox & Hounds, Olentangy Commons and Hearthstone condominiums, Mattingly said.

"It's a great center," he said.

Indeed, the intersection has seen renewed interest as of late.

The Benchmark, a 108-unit apartment complex targeting the young professional crowd, is now under construction at the northeast corner of Kenny and Henderson roads, replacing a once-thriving center at the northeast corner of Kenny and Henderson roads that was bookended by TGI Friday's and Max & Erma's.

The first phase of the apartment complex should be ready by fall, with the entire project being completed next year.

Chris Boring, a local retail analyst who's already bullish on Benchmark, said a retail center on the opposite corner makes sense, especially one with a gym.

"Fitness centers have been doing pretty well lately in general, so it doesn't surprise me they would put one there," Boring said.

"That's a good retail location, good visibility, and I think it's a good idea to have more parking if you're going have more intense uses."