Plaza Properties is moving ahead with plans to build a new residential development at 2377 E. Broad St.

The project received unanimous approval from the city of Columbus Board of Zoning Adjustment on Feb. 28 and endorsement from the Eastmoor Civic Association and Blockwatch.

Larry Ruben, president of Plaza Properties, said his company plans to start construction later this year on the development, which will include 20 new townhouses.

Construction will begin "sometime later this summer," Ruben said. "I'd like for the project to start in 2017."

When Ruben first proposed the development earlier this year, it called for three buildings with 18 units each, with one-bedroom apartments of 858 square feet each on the second floor and townhouses of 1,232 square feet each on the first floor, and 82 parking spaces.

At that time, dozens of Eastmoor residents spoke out in opposition during a Jan. 24 meeting at the Bexley Public Library.

Residents expressed concerns that the development would not be compatible with existing buildings and might exacerbate traffic congestion and cause safety issues in the area.

Ruben agreed to postpone his BZA application from January to February and work with ECA&B representatives to address residents' concerns.

John Hamlin, president of the ECA&B, said association members and several neighbors who border the proposed development worked with Ruben and his architect to adjust designs.

Hamlin said the association voted to put its support behind the development after Ruben agreed to single-family rather than multi-family buildings and to adjust plans in lowering the height and density of the structures that are to be built.

The final plan "allows 20 basic condominiums that are similar in design to the homes at Chesterfield and Broadleigh (roads)," which border the site of the new development, Hamlin said.

There will be two, 10-unit buildings. The variances approved Feb. 28 reduce the required building setback line along East Broad Street from 60 feet to 15 feet and along Broadleigh and Chesterfield roads from 25 feet to 12 feet and reduces the required rear yards from 25 percent of the total lot area to 5 percent of the total lot area.

Hamlin said he believes the development will be an asset to the Eastmoor neighborhood.

"It's exactly what we wanted in the community," he said. "We had the opportunity to inject $5 million in new housing. That's a win for us and a win for the developer."

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