Developers present latest plans for redevelopment of the former Olympic Swim Club site.

About 50 people turned out Tuesday, April 21, for a community meeting sponsored by Positively Clintonville to hear the latest version of plans to redevelop the former Olympic Swim Club site.

As outlined by developer Kyle Katz, as well as an architect, engineer and representative from the Crawford-Hoying, the Dublin firm partnering in the project, the proposed number of apartments in the three- and four-story building has been reduced to 115.

The major concession to residents' concerns regarding parking problems and traffic woes on Indianola Avenue came in the amount of commercial space proposed for a portion of the first floor of the art-deco building. As opposed to the original plan, in which all 19,000 square feet of the ground floor would have been given over to shops and restaurants, only 5,000 square feet now would be commercial.

Katz said that would allow for perhaps one moderately sized restaurant and a coffee shop.

The changes mean the Olympic, as the building is being called, would have 215 parking spaces -- 93 percent of what is required under city code.

The previous plan, with initially 152 apartments, later cut down to 138, and the much-larger commercial footprint would have met only 77 percent of the parking requirement.

"Your feedback made it clear there were concerns about the parking and setbacks on our previous design," Katz told the audience on hand at the Columbus Mennonite Church.

He said the proposal represents an $18 million investment that would increase property taxes for the site from the current $16,000 a year to around $300,000 annually.

Once the presentation was over and questions began to be asked, some still expressed reservations about the size of the structure, its possible impact on neighboring businesses, the noise and dust from construction and, of course, their property values.

Russ Hunter, the Crawford Hoying representative at the meeting, said a somewhat similar apartment project on Lane Avenue in Upper Arlington had neighbors expressing the same worries. Now that the project is completed, he said the website Zillow shows neighboring properties have increased in value.

One retirement-age woman said she was growing weary of maintaining a home, but in looking around Clintonville for an apartment, she had not been able to find anything as nice as was being proposed for the former swimming complex site.

"Thanks, Mom," Katz jokingly replied.

The apartments would be 56 percent one-bedroom units -- six of them 650-square-foot efficiencies and the rest 826 square feet -- and 44 percent two-bedroom ones of around 1,250, according to the developer.

Rent would range from $950 to $1,250 a month, Katz said.

Katz's wife, April Zimmerman Katz, owns the former swimming complex property.

The project requires variances for height, said zoning attorney Jeffrey L. Brown. That area of Clintonville has a limit of 35 feet on structures. Portions of the apartment building would be 36 feet tall and others 44 feet.

A City Council variance would be needed to allow residential units on the southern portion of the ground floor that would be rezoned from manufacturing to commercial, Brown said. Other variances include some sections being closer to Indianola Avenue than code allows.

The Clintonville Area Commission is scheduled to hear the variance requests at 7 p.m. May 7 in a special location: Beechwold Christian Church, 280 Morse Road. CAC members voted April 2 to move the May session to accommodate anticipated high attendance.