While plans for his establishment have changed, a Powell restaurateur still wants to revive an empty building in the city's downtown.
Dustin Sun, owner of downtown Powell coffee shop Espresso 22, won approval last summer for his plan to renovate the vacant structure at 26 W. Olentangy St. to open an Asian fusion restaurant. Sun returned to the city's Planning and Zoning Commission in December to seek approval for a revised plan.
"This makes better sense (as) a use of the building," Sun said.
Dave Betz, the city's development director, said the revised plans represent a "less intense" use of the site than the previously planned restaurant. The commission had debated the adequacy of the site's parking over multiple meetings when a restaurant was planned.
Sun said he still expects to serve food when the business opens, but he expects alcohol sales to play a larger role than they would have if he had gone forward with the Asian fusion eatery.
According to city records, the building, which most recently housed an antiques store, was constructed in three phases. The portion of the structure set for demolition was a later addition to the original 1890s building.
Commission member Joe Jester said he appreciated the latest plan to revamp the structure.
"I think the smaller it gets, the better it gets," he said. "I'm glad with where we are right now."
Commission member Don Emerick said he also liked the plan to downsize the building and noted he had sympathy for Sun after the setback.
"It's always disappointing to get into these things and find out the foundation doesn't really work for you," he said.
The commission ultimately voted unanimously in favor of the revised plan.
Sun said he'd like to get started on revamping the building as soon as possible.