The Gahanna Planning Commission approved what city officials call a "dream project," because it's expected to bring even more development.

The commission Sept. 27 gave the go-ahead for a two-story medical-office building at Tech Center Drive and Buckles Court.

It would be the first development on the north side of Tech Center.

Michael Blackford, the city's deputy development director, said the project has been in the works a long time and officials anticipate a likely domino effect from the project that would add future development.

He said a medical office is something the city has been trying to attract, and this 32,706-square-foot office building fits the bill.

Larry Canini, representing landowner Andre Buckles and developer Hplex Solutions Inc. of Lewis Center, said the new Walnut Creek Medical Office facility would be built on slightly more than 4 acres as part of a roughly 100-acre development called Crescent at Central Park.

"We chose Crescent because of the crescent created by (Interstate) 270," he said. "I-270 wraps the project and it all ties together. We're excited to be here."

Canini wouldn't name the specific practices that would operate in the building, but said gynecological and general-practice offices would be among them. He said the building also will have laboratory services.

Canini said the project would involve a roadway extension and access would be off Buckles Court.

"The goal here is to get the road in," he said. "We're in discussion with two other practices we couldn't get in this building. Once people see dirt fly, that usually creates excitement. The medical practices want to be seen."

Canini said he's the master developer of the entire project.

"I'm very excited about what's coming soon in the future," he said. "I haven't been this excited about a project in a long time. I hope it's successful for all of us."

The commission approved a subdivision-without-plat application to split 4.07 acres of a 100-acre parcel at Tech Center Drive and Buckles Court for the building, as well as a final development plan with associated utilities and parking.

A decision about a certificate of appropriateness was postponed until Oct. 11 so minor modifications could be made to the building design.

Blackford said the medical office building is what the city's economic development strategy hoped for on the property.

"The architecture used is consistent with the land use plan, as well," he said.

"It has taken a long time to get to this," Blackford said. "This is big for us."

Commission member John Hicks said it would be hard to argue a better use exists for the property.

"I look forward to seeing the rest of the development," he said.

Commission chairman Bobbie Burba said everyone is excited about the project.

Canini said he expects ground to be broken in about 60 days, with the facility to be open in October 2018.

In other action, the commission approved a subdivision-without-plat application to split 1.67 acres of a 6.56-acre parcel at the corner of Parkland and Orchard drives at the request of Jeffrey Barr, Gahanna's director of parks and recreation.

City engineer Rob Priestas said the goal is to acquire land for future park development.

"There are no plans at this time," he said.

Priestas said the Veterans of Foreign Wars Tri-Community Post 4719 building would remain, along with its 1.6 acres of property.

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