Plans for a new bank and a new pharmacy in the South State Street corridor have fallen through with the withdrawal of a development application from Meadowood Development Inc.

Plans for a new bank and a new pharmacy in the South State Street corridor have fallen through with the withdrawal of a development application from Meadowood Development Inc.

Westerville's city staff was informed on Jan. 12 that the developer, which had been pursuing the eventual construction of a Walgreens and a Key Bank at 32 Heatherdown Drive and 807 S. State St., respectively, was seeking to withdraw its application from the city's consideration.

"A combination of the current economic climate and lengthy development timeline led to this decision," Kathy Rojina, Meadowood's manager of site planning and development, wrote in a Jan. 12 letter to the city's planning administration. "Walgreens is still dedicated to developing quality, convenient locations, but has slowed their pace of development to manage costs and assist in the overall successful operations of their company.

"We have reviewed the possibility of proceeding with the Key Bank, but the land cost was prohibitive for only one user."

City planning administrator Rich Kight said while it's disappointing that the plans won't proceed, the withdrawal shouldn't cause any problems with the city's efforts to revitalize the South State Street Corridor.

"I would say we're disappointed. There was a lot of work put in on everybody's part, including staff, the planning commission, the applicants and the residents of the adjacent condominium," Kight said. "There will be other opportunities, though -- this wasn't a linchpin (to the development of State Street), it was just a nice opportunity at a key intersection."

Kight said the application for the two businesses was filed with Westerville about a year ago. While it was being discussed by the planning commission over the last year, members objected to multiple conditions requested as part of the application.

These included requests for an LED monument sign for the Walgreens; a right-in, right-out entry feature for the site's drive-through, which planning commission members said would create a dangerous traffic pattern; and the transfer of a right of way for King Arthur Boulevard, needed for access to the site but that could have caused difficulty for residents of the adjacent Camelot Condominiums and the Firestone Bridgestone dealership.

Kight said although the application has been withdrawn, the issue of access to the condominiums is still something the city will have to address.

"I think that alternative access for the condominiums is needed," he said. "So at some time, using the (old railway right of way off of Heatherdown Drive) could be a benefit, but whether that means replacing the State Street access or doing that in addition to the access is something that could be decided upon."

Rojina said Meadowood Development could still bring another Walgreens to the area in the future.

"Meadowood Development will continue development in the Columbus market and we look forward to future opportunity to work with staff in the development process to bring another Walgreen location to the Westerville community," she wrote.

lrice@thisweeknews.com