A massive mixed-use development planned for the city of Delaware's south side continues to move closer to reality.

Delaware City Council in May approved a final subdivision plat and a final development plan for the first phase of Coughlin's Crossing. The project aims to bring a mix of residential, retail and other commercial uses to about 80 acres between Stratford Road and U.S. Route 23 north of Meeker Way.

According to city records, the first phase includes the construction of a "spine road" throughout the site and two connector roads between the site and U.S. Route 23, along with storm sewers. It does not include the construction of any commercial or residential buildings.

David Efland, planning and community development director for the city, said Coughlin's Crossing's final development plan differs from many approved by council in the past because it does not feature an initial proposed building or tenant.

"In this case, the applicant wants to ... get the infrastructure in, then be able to market the property and come forward with future development plans for that actual construction on a lot-by-lot basis," he said.

Efland said the developer's tack is "unusual" for projects in Delaware, but one the city can and will accommodate.

Council also approved the vacation of the existing cul-de-sac known as Stratford Drive ahead of the construction of the new "spine road."

Plans call for a commercial building of nearly 100,000 square feet near the center of the site. Developer Connie Klema previously said her aim is to attract a grocery store as the anchor tenant of the development

A mix of commercial and residential buildings is expected to fill the remaining land, except for 13 percent of the site to be preserved as green space.

Resident feedback at council's May 22 meeting focused on the finer points of Coughlin's Crossing -- from the replanting of trees to the placement of utility boxes.

Jean Ball, who lives near the proposed development, said neighbors of the site hope to see robust landscaping around Coughlin's Crossing.

"I think a lot of us would like to see more trees and bigger-diameter trees," she said.

Mayor Carolyn Riggle said the city and the developer will work to make sure the project will be attractive to residents and visitors.

"This is going to be a beautiful subdivision, in my opinion," Riggle said.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@TWGallick