The two additional retail/restaurant buildings that were supposed to be part of the CVS development five years ago finally could be constructed.

The two additional retail/restaurant buildings that were supposed to be part of the CVS development five years ago finally could be constructed.

The Worthington Architectural Review Board (ARB) approved the buildings during its July 26 meeting.

In 2007, Skilken partner Frank Petruziello worked with the city for many months on plans to construct three buildings on the southeast corner of High and North streets. The old Jubilee Foods was demolished to make way for the development.

The CVS building was built at the corner the following year, but the other two buildings planned for the south side of the property never appeared.

Rick Kessler, representing Canal Winchester-based MK&K Realty Inc., is the new owner of the two vacant lots. His proposal is to construct buildings similar to those approved five years ago, but without second stories.

The lack of second floors did not go over well with several residents who had testified at the meeting, nor was it a popular choice with the ARB.

Two stories would be more efficient, would generate more tax dollars, would bring more people to the central part of the city and is recommended in the city's comprehensive plan, resident Fred Yaeger said.

Besides not being financially feasible, a second story would not be possible because of deed restrictions on the size of the buildings, as well as on seemingly unrelated issues such as the sale of alcohol and greeting cards, Kessler told the ARB.

Several board members indicated they were not pleased with the news of the deed restrictions. They pointed out that the old, vacant CVS building on the north side of the intersection has not been leased because of deed restrictions that prohibit the sale of alcohol. That has kept the site from being leased as a grocery store, which is sorely needed in Worthington, said Scott Myers, the Worthington City Council member who sits on the ARB.

ARB chairman Richard Hunter called the deed restrictions a "breach of faith," saying Skilken had agreed to two two-story buildings as part of the original plan.

"This board has really gotten the short end of the stick because of the original developer," board member Mikel Coulter said.

When asked about legal recourse, Myers, an attorney, said the city is limited in that it can't tell a property owner what it may or may not do.

The question of allowing the smaller one-story buildings to move ahead then becomes difficult, he said.

"Do you compromise to get something on the property, or do you wait another five years?" he said.

The board compromised, just asking that details regarding landscaping and some building elements return for further review.

The northernmost building, closest to CVS, was to be 4,936 square feet on the first floor and 2,126 square feet on the second floor. The new plan calls for 4,272 square feet of space on the first floor, with no usable second floor.

The southern building, separated by a driveway from the other buildings, was to be 7,443 square feet on the first floor, with 2,834 square feet on the second floor for two apartments. The new design has the second building at 6,402 square feet on the first floor, with no second floor.

The buildings also have been moved farther from the street in the new plan. Both will be approximately 8 feet behind the CVS storefront, allowing room for concrete and pavers in front of the buildings, possibly including front patios for dining.

The brick and wood-trim buildings will be similar to the designs from 2007. The northern building will have three dormers, a bronze-colored standing-seam metal roof and tan siding and trim.

The southern building will have two brick chimneys and entrances for three tenant suites, as well as striped awnings.

When asked if the buildings would be constructed first or only after the spaces are leased, architect Mark Ford said the intent is to move ahead as soon as possible.

He cautioned, however, that construction couldn't move ahead without a lease.

"The intent is to build both buildings at the same time," he said.