A real-estate agent plans to build a new office with two second-floor apartment units in a business park in downtown Powell.

The city's Planning and Zoning Commission on Nov. 15 reviewed the initial proposal for a new mixed-use building planned for land just south of More Time for You, a cleaning and lawn-service business at 185 S. Liberty St. The proposal calls for the construction of a building with a 2,554-square-foot office space on the first floor and two 1,277-square-foot, two-bedroom apartments on the second floor.

Tom Coffey, architect for the project, said the plan would allow Powell resident Steve Wilke of Weichert, Realtors to move his office from Dublin to Powell. Coffey said the apartments would be marketed with the intent of attracting young professionals as tenants.

City officials reacted to the plan's submission with largely positive feedback.

Commission member Bill Little said he thinks the project makes sense for the city's Downtown Business District.

"I think it's a good example of (a) mixed-use (project), which is what we're trying to promote with our recent comprehensive plan," he said. "I think the design is outstanding."

Dave Betz, the city's director of development, said the apartment units add a twist to the office projects Powell officials have seen in the past.

"It is a permitted use within the Downtown Business District and actually would provide some good additional alternative housing for our downtown area," he said.

Betz said Coffey's experience with other projects in the city gives him confidence in this one.

"Tom's very familiar with the district. He (worked on) the More Time for You building," he said. "We think that this is on the right track."

Betz said city staff view the proposal as "very consistent" with Powell's comprehensive plan.

The undeveloped land sits within the Liberty Street Business Park, which was established as a site for small office and retail developments.

The commission, which has not voted on the proposal, needs to approve preliminary and final development plans for the project before it can move forward. The developer also needs approval from Powell City Council.

Workers could break ground on the project in February and open the building in the summer if the developer receives the OK to move forward.

tgallick@thisweeknews.com

@twgallick