A first hurdle has been cleared for the Grandview Heights portion of the Grandview Crossing project, but many more steps will be needed to reach the finish line.
The Grandview Planning Commission voted unanimously March 21 to recommend approval of a rezoning of the 15.9 acres of the project's site located in the city from light industrial and commercial to Planned Unit Development.
The rezoning request now will move on to City Council.
Grandview Crossing is being developed as a partnership between Wagenbrenner Development and Gallas Zedeh Development.
The project totals 52 acres at the corner of Dublin Road and Grandview Avenue. About 36 acres are in Columbus, which also is reviewing the project for its approval.
The original plan for the project, which was approved in 2016 by both Grandview and Columbus, featured only commercial uses, with one-story offices, retail and restaurants on about 43 acres, about 13 of which were in Grandview. Since then, the developer has been able to acquire more land from the Norfolk and Southern Railroad and added residential uses.
The project now is expected to have more than 200,000 square feet of office use, about 128,000 square feet of retail and restaurants, and about 1,178 residential units, all of which would be rental.
The Grandview portion of the project is expected to include a hotel, a four-story, 240-unit senior-housing complex and three one-story retail/commercial buildings totaling about 27,300 square feet.
A fourth component in the Grandview area would be a three-story building with ground-level retail and commercial use and 26 residential units on the top two floors.
The project remains "an urban design" that offers easy access for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists to the development, said Todd Foley, an architect with POD Design.
The main entry point to the development will be off Dublin Road; another entry point will be on Grandview Avenue in the Grandview section of the development.
"We've approached this project in a holistic way" so that the design elements in the Grandview section are similar to what will be seen in Columbus, Foley said.
A bike path will enter the project area from Grandview Avenue, separate from the roadway, he said.
As it moves east through a new access road and new secondary street that will be built, the bike path will remain separate from traffic lanes, but will move onto the street, Foley said.
A plaza area is planned near the senior-housing complex, he said.
"We want to create a space where people who want to visit residents there can come outside and sit and visit with them for a while," Foley said.
The commission added a condition that another plaza area be included in the plan to provide similar space for other buildings.
A 3- to 4-acre pocket park also is planned for the Grandview section of the project, and other smaller plaza or park-like areas will be sprinkled throughout the area, Foley said.
Commission member Sarah Kelly expressed concern that the public spaces as presented are not as inviting as they could be.
"This is an opportunity to develop this as a community gathering place," she said. "The geometry of this makes it to me seem more like a place you walk through rather than a place you stop."
Foley said he didn't disagree that plaza areas could be made larger and it was something the development team can work on.
The project will be developed in multiple stages over a long, undetermined period of time, he said.
Each component will require the commission's approval of a development plan, said Patrick Bowman, Grandview's director of administration/economic development.