The vacant building formerly home to the Winking Lizard Tavern on Bethel Road could soon face the serious end of a wrecking ball.

A developer has announced plans to build apartments on the site.

Preferred Living representatives have submitted a site plan with the city of Columbus calling for the construction of 67 units on the property at 1380 Bethel Road.

The project would include two three-story buildings, one with 32 two-bedrooms and 12 one- bedroom units and the other with 11 two-bedrooms and 12 one-bedroom units.

Preferred Living has developed other residential projects throughout central Ohio, including Taylor House at Bethel and Olentangy River roads and Madison Park at Henderson Road and DeSantis Court, both in northwest Columbus.

Representatives from Preferred Living could not be reached for comment.

Anthony Celebrezze, spokesman for the Columbus Department of Development, said Preferred Living representatives are expected to meet with officials from with various city divisions such as sewers and drains, traffic management, fire and zoning to determine which variances might be needed.

Because it is so early in the process, it is unclear whether the development will be scheduled for approval by the Columbus Development Commission or Board of Zoning Adjustment, Celebrezze said.

It could mark the end of more than 30 years of food service at 1380 Bethel Road, which has been home to an assortment of restaurants. The Winking Lizard closed in April after nearly 15 years.

It also means the beginning of a new era of multi-unit residential apartment construction in the Bethel Road corridor, home to recent high-density projects such as Braxton on Bethel, on Slade Avenue just north of Bethel, and Madden's Pointe at Bethel and Sawmill Roads.

Kit Logsdon, a member of the Northwest Civic Association, said she was not familiar with the plan, as the project has not been introduced to the neighborhood group.

Logsdon said she would like to see a formal presentation on the matter.

Initial concerns, she said, include on-site parking, traffic at "an already overloaded intersection" at Bethel and Godown roads, aesthetics and how it affects affordable housing on the bus line.

"(The proposed development) would raise a lot of questions, I'm very sure," Logsdon said.

gseman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekGary