Powell City Council last week extended the landscaping deadline on a vacant commercial building in the heart of the city.

Powell City Council last week extended the landscaping deadline on a vacant commercial building in the heart of the city.

Council voted unanimously to extend Stavroff Development's deadline to landscape and finish exterior improvements at the site of a new retail building at the "four corners" intersection of Olentangy and Liberty streets.

Owner Matt Stavroff requested an extension from the original Aug. 1 deadline to Oct. 6, in hopes he can find a tenant who would be able to maintain any landscaping that will be installed, said Dave Betz, Powell's development director.

The remainder of the building work, approved by the city in 2007, is complete, Betz said.

The city's stipulations included building, and maintaining for one year, some portions of the building which were considered "public improvements," such as a brick paver walkway and patio area.

Powell Councilman Don Grubbs voted in favor of the extension after the language "no additional extensions will be considered or granted" was inserted into the resolution.

The building is "a key part of our downtown," said Grubbs. "For all we know, the property might be moving a little quicker if it were done."

Stavroff did not attend the council meeting.

The redevelopment of the northeast side of the four corners was controversial. Some residents criticized the new building for lack of parking and because its approval led to the demolition of a century-old structure, said to be one of Powell's oldest buildings.

Powell officials were also criticized for paying Stavroff $130,000 for a 10-by-60-foot piece of right of way fronting the property, to acquire the easement should turn lanes ever be installed.

Also at the meeting, city Manager Steve Lutz announced that the Powell Police Department will host a public celebration for National Night Out on Aug. 4.

The national crime and drug prevention and awareness event is held annually in cities and towns across America as a way to heighten awareness and strengthen neighborhood anti-crime efforts.

Powell's National Night Out celebration is free and will be held 6:30-8 p.m. at the Village Green, 47 Hall St.

The event will feature free Rita's Italian Ice, a live band, games and activities for children and more.

The next council meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 5, at the Village Green.

At that meeting, council is expected to begin discussing the scope of engineering work necessary for the extension of Murphy Parkway.