A developer has proposed building a 10-unit residential development on a lot in Schumacher Place.
Jay DeVore of DEV wants to build what he considers "luxury penthouses" on the site, 601 S. Ninth St., at the northwest corner of South Ninth Street and South Lane.
"The design intent is to build something contemporary and that is appropriate for 2017 and fits in the context of the neighborhood in which it is being built," DeVore said.
There are four different unit plans, two or three stories tall, ranging in size from 900 to 2,500 square feet.
Each unit will have a two-car attached garage and additional parking spaces for guests, he said.
DeVore said he hopes to break ground this summer.
He said he didn't have a range of sales prices yet for the townhouses.
The half-acre lot is owned by Nathan T. Sampson and Charmaine Suton, according to the Franklin County Auditor's Office. They purchased the land for $500,000 in November 2014.
If DeVore were granted permission to split the parcel into three separate lots, which is permitted by the current zoning, he could build two-unit dwellings on each of the lots for a total of six. But because his proposal exceeds that density, along with other issues, he would need variances from Columbus City Council.
"We looked at the existing densities in the neighborhood and what we found was a significant portion of the neighborhood is as dense or significantly denser than what we're proposing," he said.
The development has passed one hurdle. The Schumacher Place Civic Association at its Feb. 7 meeting recommended approval of the issue.
Kayla Merchant, president of the civic association, said neighborhood residents have been largely opposed to multi-use developments, particularly at 601 S. Ninth St.
The negative perception stems from poorly designed apartments in the Cold War era, Merchant said.
"Times have changed in terms of demand for housing, especially taking into account the expansion of Nationwide Children's Hospital," she said.
"There are more professionals looking for homes that are upscale, but don't require a ton of maintenance or yard work."
The South Side Area Commission is expected to make a recommendation about the project Feb. 28.
It will then go before City Council.
"The property has had several previous attempts at development and there's a small, but strong, opposition to pretty much anything that's been planned for the property," said Jim Griffin, chairman of the area commission.
Griffin said he was unsure how he will vote on the issue.