The Buckeye Ranch and the Buckeye Grove Shopping Center are about to get some new neighbors.
Construction has begun on Grove City Summit, a 228-unit rental community located next to the Buckeye Grove Shopping Center, near the intersection of Hoover Road and London-Groveport Road. The site is south of the Buckeye Ranch and is projected to open in December.
The project is being developed by the Schottenstein Real Estate Group to be an upscale mix of one-, two- and three-bedroom garden and townhome units.
"We are excited to develop again in an outstanding city like Grove City," Vice President Brian Schottenstein said in a press release. "We expect this rental community is going to be one of the best in all of central Ohio."
According to a rendering of the site plan, there will be 22 buildings and 590 parking spaces, 152 in garages and 438 in driveways or lots.
Other planned features include a clubhouse with a 24-hour fitness center with yoga room, resort style pool, community garden, cafe with free wi-fi and business center.
The land on which the development is being built was previously owned by the Buckeye Ranch Foundation.
Nick Rees, president and CEO of the Buckeye Ranch, said the ranch acquired the land in the mid-90s but had used it only for "little things" such as hiking trails. Before the sale, the Buckeye Ranch owned 146 acres.
"We determined if we needed to, there was more than enough room to expand," Rees said.
Rees said the ranch had about 27 acres up for sale and lease since 2004 and wanted to be careful about who it picked for a neighbor.
"We had a couple of different offers over the years," he said. "We know an apartment complex doesn't represent an issue for us."
The Buckeye Ranch, a residential facility for troubled youth, sold the land to the Schottenstein Group for a little more than $1.8 million.
City Administrator Chuck Boso said overall the development was a good use of the property.
"With the construction of the Mount Carmel (Health Systems) project and other potential projects in the area, there's certainly a demand for this type of development," he said.
City Council approved the project's development plan back in April. The Grove City Planning Commission approved a lot split for the project at its meeting on July 2, which takes effect immediately and does not require council action. The development also required a rezoning from SD-1 educational to Planned-Use Residential.
The Buckeye Ranch still owns about five of the original 27 acres it made available for sale. According to a project narrative included with Buckeye Ranch's application, the plan also allows for the future expansion of the Buckeye Grove Shopping Center and provides two outlots along London-Groveport Road for commercial use.
Rees said the Buckeye Ranch is once again waiting for the right project for those lots.
"The good thing for the ranch is we don't have to sell the property," he said. "We'll sell it when we're ready."
Boso said both of those outlots will require individual development plans.