Construction will begin in four to six months on office buildings that were part of a development plan originally approved by New Albany Planning Commission members in 2007, according to developer Larry Canini.

Construction will begin in four to six months on office buildings that were part of a development plan originally approved by New Albany Planning Commission members in 2007, according to developer Larry Canini.

The Canini Trust Corp.'s Forest Drive office-park project, which is in the New Albany International Business Park at the northeast corner of Smith's Mill and Johnstown roads, was delayed "largely due to the recession," said Adrienne Joly, New Albany's deputy director of community development.

The office-park project is on more than 5 acres and will include five buildings, Joly said. The offices would be surrounded by restaurants, hotels and the COTA Park & Ride, all amenities that businesspeople need, she said.

"It's a very important component to our business park," Joly said.

Canini confirmed the recession a few years ago kept him from developing any speculative office spaces.

The Forest Drive project was designed to serve as office condominiums for small-business operators, he said.

However, lenders weren't offering money for businesses, and businesses weren't growing, he said.

Those two factors prevented him from marketing to prospective tenants.

Most of the tenants coming to the New Albany International Business Park had been large warehouse-distribution users rather than small businesses, Canini said.

"We've just been waiting for some opportunities, and for the rest of the Trust Corp. to develop, which it has now," he said.

No tenants are committed, Canini said.

He said he also has been waiting to replace New Albany Ballet Company at 5051 Forest Drive, a building the dance company soon will vacate when it makes the short move to a new, larger facility at 5161 Forest Drive.

Canini said he did not want to market tenants to two separate properties he was trying to develop and thus compete with himself. However, he said, he is negotiating with a tenant to move into the old ballet-company building.