Westerville News & Public Opinion

The Village at Central College

Preliminary plan for major project goes to council

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For the second time in just two months, Westerville City Council was expected to approve a large multi-family housing development Tuesday, June 3.

But The Village at Central College is more than just apartments and townhomes.

Although the project will still need to go through council approval for a final development plan at a later date, council on Tuesday was expected to approve the preliminary plan for The Village at Central College, acting on a positive recommendation from the Westerville Planning Commission.

Overall The Village at Central College is a 77.8-acre mixed-use development that will contain multi-family units, single-family units, commercial space and a 36-acre new city park. The property sits along the east side of Sunbury Road across from Central College Presbyterian Church, bounded on the north by Central College Road.

Proposed by the real estate development firm Casto, the preliminary plan calls for 240 multi-family homes and commercial development over 23 acres and and 71 single-family homes over 16.7 acres, at densities of 10.8 and 4.3 units per acre, respectively.

The development will contain trail amenities for both pedestrians and bicycles, as well as a pool and clubhouse serving the multi-family complexes.

Of the property's 77.8 acres, 36 sit in the Big Walnut Creek floodway, immediately east of the creek, and will be developed into a large new Westerville park and green space.

The "passive parkland" will be connected to other trails in the area, and restrooms and parking will be added.

To alleviate traffic at the intersection of Sunbury and Central College, a northbound right turn lane and a southbound left turn lane are both planned additions, as well as a new traffic light at Sunbury Road and South Street.

A bend will be added to the middle of South Street that will serve as a traffic-calming device. Around the bend, a grassy square surrounded by trees will be added to provide another public green space. The square will serve as the center of the mixed-use buildings, and a gazebo, benches, bike racks and other amenities will be added to the space.

The site's 20,000 square feet of commercial space will sit just along the east side of Sunbury Road and South Street.

In that space, there are currently several businesses that would be affected by the development. But developers aren't far enough along in the process to have a plan for them.

"We'd like to be able to figure out a way to incorporate any businesses in any future development that we do," Casto Vice President of Development Charlie Fraas told ThisWeek. "But it's premature in the sense that we really need to get the zoning first before we can start going down that path."

On April 15, City Council approved a plan for 148 apartments and 41 patio homes on 23.6 acres at 645-655 N. State St., a project of Romanelli Investments and Mayfair Homes called the State Street Residences.

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